Vitamins make people’s bodies work properly; they are essential for normal growth and development. If you look at any food section in nearly any store, you will find vitamins promoted. They are in breakfast cereals, canned foods, water, other beverages, etc. But how much, if any, do you need? Unfortunately, there is not one answer since nutritional needs, including the needs for vitamins and minerals, depends on your age, gender, diet and general health status.
Vitamins and minerals are micro-nutrients that are found either naturally in the food we eat or fortified in other foods. To break this down more, vitamins fall into one of two groups: water-soluble (e.g. B vitamins and vitamin C) and fat-soluble (A, D, E and K). The water-soluble vitamins are depleted much more rapidly than fat-soluble ones. You have to replenish the water-soluble vitamins daily. On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your body and thereby broken down much more slowly.
Eating a variety of foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein is the best way to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need in a day. However, if you are a vegan (vegetarian eating only plant-based foods, no animal products including dairy), you may very well need to take a multivitamin to meet your needs. Vegetarians will need to carefully plan their intake since the best sources for minerals, like zinc and iron, are in meat products.
Verdict: It depends. If you are in good health and eat a regular, well-balanced diet you probably do not need a multivitamin every day. Unfortunately, there is no one answer for all, as a lot of nutritional needs, including vitamins and minerals depends on age, gender, diet and general health status. For the best recommendations, ask your doctor or dietitian for advice to meet your specific needs.
Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics