How often should I take a multivitamin?

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A multivitamin is usually taken just once a day, but talk to your doctor about the best type of multivitamin for you, and the best time of day to take it.

Most multivitamins contain close to the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for many vitamins and minerals. Some high-potency multivitamins may include instructions to take more than one pill daily.

If you eat a well-balanced diet that includes all major food groups, you may be able to get enough of the nutrients you need from food; in that case, you may not need a multivitamin. However, if you eat a restrictive diet, are sick or pregnant, or have or are at risk for certain medical conditions, your doctor may recommend a multivitamin to help keep you healthy. Do not take higher doses of multivitamins than your doctor recommends.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
To get enough nutrients, I recommend taking a multivitamin every day, in case you have missed out on a little bit of one mineral or the other. Choose a multivitamin without added iron, and one that has less than 2,500 international units (IUs) of vitamin A and beta-carotene (combined).

In fact, you should really take your vitamins (or your multivitamin) twice a day (several vitamins are water soluble and you will urinate them out so quickly that you need them twice a day to have a minimally acceptable level in your blood at all times if you do not eat a lot of fruit and vegetables at both breakfast and dinner. Further, for some such as Calcium, you cannot absorb more than 600 milligrams (mg) at a time, so you need that twice a day and for others such as vitamin C, if you take more than 500 mg at once, that increase your risk of toxicity. So to keep a steady level, to absorb the optimal level, and to minimize the risk of toxicity from too much at once, you want a twice a day multivitamin).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.