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Ideally, daily nutritional needs should be met through healthy eating—but the typical diet does not always supply all the vitamins and minerals a body needs. So even in healthy people, multivitamins and other supplements may help prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies and they can also provide more nutrients than diet alone, which may help to protect against or manage certain diseases. The following list gives the daily optimum amounts of nutrients that might benefit healthy people.
Multivitamin supplements also frequently include other nutrients of uncertain benefit in the small amounts supplied, such as choline, inositol, and various amino acids.
(Click to see more detailed information on vitamins and minerals, including references.)
Nutritional (and also herbal) supplements are not necessarily safer just because they are natural: Some might produce unwanted side effects when a person takes too much, and if you are taking medications, you should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding nutritional supplements or herbs to your self-care.
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If you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all products prior to consumption. If the ingredient list is not available on the product, check with the product manufacturer, or do not consume the product.