Should I Take a Multivitamin?

“Should I take a multivitamin? Why or why not?”

These are common questions I often come across when counseling clients. The idealist in me wants to say, “Nutrients should come from your food. Eat a whole foods plant-based diet and you’ll be fine!”*

The realities of life don’t’ always make this a viable option.

There are busy schedules, hectic lifestyles and a general lack of knowledge about nutrition to contend with. You need to know there has been quite a bit of research in recent years about the dangers involved with taking certain vitamins and minerals.

The Truth About Multivitamins

The reductionist theory as it is related to supplementation tells us:

Nutrients isolated from their complete package (food) do not offer the same health benefits and can even be detrimental to our health.

Multivitamins usually supply nutrients in excessive amounts which is also a concern.

More is not better!

he body has certain requirements and can become overloaded from toxic levels of vitamins and minerals.

We should avoid the following nutrients in our multivitamin.

Vitamin A

  • liver damage
  • birth defects
  • increased risk of hip fracture
  • overall increased risk of death

Beta Carotene** (a carotenoid and precursor to vitamin A)

  • inhibits absorption of other carotenoids
  • increases the risk of cancer, e.g., lung, prostate
  • heart disease
  • overall increased risk of death

** may be safe when combined with other carotenoids


  • decreased immune system
  • clogged arteries
  • inhibits antioxidant activity
  • mental deterioration in seniors

Folic Acid (man-made version of folate)

  • in excess, facilitates tumor growth
  • cancer connection
  • proper amounts, inhibits tumor growth

Iron (necessary for some women)

  • heart disease
  • mental deterioration in seniors
  • free radical formation


  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • certain cancers
  • heart disease
  • compromised immune system activity
  • compromised thyroid function

Avoiding behaviors which deplete nutrients or diminish their function is also good advice. These behaviors include smoking, drinking alcohol, consuming a poor diet, physical inactivity, too little sleep and stress.

*A strict plant-based diet needs to include a B12 supplement (no known toxic levels) and possibly vitamin D.

Questions About Your Diet?

I provide nutrition counseling to clients in person or over the phone.

If you would like to discuss your diet or nutrition related questions please contact me at: You can also click the link below for my listing here on the site for Nutritionists in Florida.

Happy eating!