Do I need multivitamin supplements?

Back to list 2019-09-16 12:11:30

With autumn coming in a few days, you might be thinking about starting taking vitamin supplements in order to prevent cold, flu and other seasonal diseases to protect family’s health. Today, many people believe that multivitamins supplements compensate for poor eating habits, improve health and prevent some chronic diseases. However, such benefits have not been strongly supported by the founding of various studies.

As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Indeed, eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is the easiest way for people to find all the vitamins and minerals they need, without any supplements. Actually, everyday your body just needs a small amounts of those vitamins and minerals (iron, calcium, vitamin C etc.) to work properly. Although, taking too much or over a long period vitamin supplements can be harmful. You could exceed the recommended daily intake of many nutrients. Even though excessive doses of some vitamins are fine, some other can be seriously bad for your health.

However, some groups of people at risk of deficiency in vitamins and minerals such as children and older adults are usually advised to take some vitamin supplements.



The National Health Service in UK recommend for pregnant or soon to be pregnant women a 400 micrograms of folic acid each day until 12 weeks pregnancy. This way help to reduce the risk of problems in the baby's development in the early weeks of pregnancy. It is also recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women to take vitamin D supplements.



- All babies till 1 year old (including breastfed babies, and formula-fed babies who have less than 500ml a day of infant formula)

- All children aged 1 to 4 years old

- People who are not often exposed to the sun – for example, people who are frail or housebound, are in an institution such as a care home, or usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors

- Everyone over the age of 5 years is advised to consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

Most people over 5 years old will probably get enough vitamin D from sunlight during summer (late March/early April to the end of September), so it might be wise not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.



All children aged 6 months to 5 years should take a supplement containing vitamins A, C and D. This is a precaution because growing children may not get enough of these vitamins, especially those not eating a varied diet.

Your doctor may also recommend vitamin supplements for medical reasons. For example, you may be prescribed iron supplements to treat iron deficiency anemia.



Some vitamins and minerals may decrease with age. Vitamin B12 absorption for example, you might also need more calcium and vitamin D.

As we can see, multivitamins are not the solution to an optimal health. Indeed, the evidence that they may improve our health is light and mixed. If you have a nutrient deficiency, it’s best to supplement with that specific nutrient, after asking medical professional advice. Multivitamins contain various nutrients, most of which you don’t need. Moreover, you shouldn’t take a multivitamin to fix a poor diet. Eating a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods is much more likely to ensure good health over the long term.

About MSH China

Founded in 2001, MSH China is a French international company specialized in high-end insurance services for corporate and individual clients. Our multicultural International department is dedicated to serve foreigners living in Asia. Leader in China, our reputation has been made from our efficient customer service and call center, a large hospital network and a cost sensitive approach. 


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