A study based on data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has concluded that the American diet short in a variety of nutrients.
97% of Americans were short of potassium, a nutrient easily obtainable in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods. 65% of Americans had diets deficient in vitamin K. American diets were also low in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A,D,C, and E.
However, people who took supplements were significantly less likely to be short in these nutrients. Supplement naysayers warn against vitamin megadoses, but it was actually very uncommon for people to have consumed too much of any vitamin or mineral. In fact, the researchers concluded that without supplementation or fortification, few Americans would consume the recommended nutrient intakes.
A multivitamin will give basic levels of all the vitamin and mineral micronutrients. A high quality multivitamin will generally include higher amounts of these same nutrients, often close to the level found most beneficial in medical studies. Good multivitamins also include the forms of nutrients believed to be most absorbable and useable by the body.
If you are going to take a multivitamin, choose one whose ingredients will benefit you most. For example, SelenoExcell or selenomethionine selenium at a dose of 200mcg a day is thought to be an ideal quantity and source of selenium, whereas the form called sodium selenite is thought to be inferior. Zinc monomethionine, known as OptiZinc, is a highly bio-available kind of zinc, while Chromemate chromium, also known as chromium polynicotinate, is the thought to be best kind of chromium. Magnesium oxide and calcium carbonate are not well absorbed. Calcium citrate is a good calcium while magnesium aspartate, glycinate, and taurate are top quality magnesiums.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Research and nutritional information included is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease and should not be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician before initiating any new dietary or supplement program. References available by request.