Are supplements necessary in a healthy diet?

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A healthy diet provides all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you normally need, without supplements. Not everyone eats a perfectly healthy diet, however, and nutritional supplements can fill in the gaps for some people. There are also certain lifestyles and stages of life that make taking a supplement, such as a multivitamin/multimineral, a good idea.

For example, women who may become pregnant may benefit from a multivitamin that contains folic acid, while women who are pregnant or breast-feeding are often advised by their doctors to take special nutritional supplements. People on certain diets, including vegans (who do not eat any foods that come from animals) may need supplements. People with certain health conditions may also need nutritional supplements, even if their diets are healthy.
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If your diet fails to meet your nutrient needs, then supplementation is always a valid recommendation.
Dr. Pina LoGiudice, LAc, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Watch as Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist Dr. Pina LoGiudice discusses whether or not multivitamin supplements are necessary in a healthy diet.


Vitamins play a role in preventing heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases. It is best to get these nutrients from the foods we eat, but this is sometimes difficult. Therefore, taking a daily multivitamin may make sense for some people. Avoid excessive supplementation with "megadose" pills. It is generally advisable to discuss taking supplements with a person knowledgeable about them, who can help you choose the right supplement for your needs. Even if you take a multivitamin regularly, eating a balanced, healthy diet is important for your well-being.

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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.