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Multivitamin is a wide term used to describe a supplement that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other specialty ingredients.
Many Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. The USDA recommends three to five daily servings of vegetables, and two to four servings of fruit. In fact, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans propose half of your plate at any given meal should be fruits and veggies. If you are not eating fruits and vegetables, there is a chance to may be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, which can be corrected by supplementing with vitamins or a multivitamin.
Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
Slavin JL & Lloyd B. , Advances in nutrition, 2012
Let the Pyramid guide your food choices
Health.gov, Health.gov, 2016
Drinking alcohol regularly can deplete many important vitamins in your body. If you drink alcohol daily, you should consider a multivitamin.
Frequently asked questions - Alcohol
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016
Relationships between nutrition, alcohol use, and liver disease.
Lieber CS., Alcohol Research and Health, 2003
Taking multivitamins can be beneficial to health for people who don’t get the proper nutrients from a balanced diet. Many people find it difficult to eat a balanced and healthy diet, and multivitamins can help fill the nutritional gaps.
For more information about multivitamins, see this set of reference articles.
Multivitamin/mineral Supplements - Fact sheet for health professionals
Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, 2015
Addressing nutritional gaps with multivitamin and mineral supplements
Elizabeth Ward, Nutrition Journal, 2014
Multivitamin Use and Mortality in a Large Prospective Study
Watkins ML, Erickson JD, Thun MJ, Mulinare J & Heath Jr. CW. , American Journal of Epidemiology, 1999