One in three Americans take a daily multivitamin. These millions of people spend billions of dollars each year for a product that some say doesn't even work.
Multivitamins are marketed to people who maybe don't eat enough fruits and veggies, or simply want to maintain their health. A month's supply can cost about $20, and some nutritionists say it's a waste of your money.
"I feel that it's kind of replacing a healthy diet in a sense. People seem to spend a lot of money and energy going to different supplement stores and researching on their own instead of researching how to have a healthy diet," says Emilie Fielder, a Registered Dietitian from Rockford Health System.
However, Fielder does not condemn all vitamin use.
"For certain people like women that are pregnant, breast-feeding, also alcoholics also have a lot of specific nutrition deficiencies, also elderly adults," she says.
But Anthony Olson at Max Muscle Sports Nutrition in Loves Park encourages all of his customers to take a multivitamin.
"I have a lot of people that come in here that say 'Well I eat enough whole food, I don't need that.' In a sense you don't, but are you tracking your nutrition to make sure you're getting every amount perfectly? Most likely not," says Olson. "The problem is not many people eat 100% properly to get the full amount of vitamins and minerals that they actually need to out of the food."
The best way to tell if you have a vitamin deficiency is to have your doctor perform a blood test.
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