What vitamin supplements should I take?

You probably don't need to take any vitamin supplements if you are eating a healthy diet that is well balanced and rich in fruits and vegetables. You should talk to your doctor if you feel that you are not getting enough vitamins. The doctor can then order any tests that may be indicated and recommend a supplement if needed.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Experts suggest taking the following supplements:
  • A multivitamin.. Buy one with just the recommended intake for most nutrients, but no copper (easy to find online). In a recent study, copper was linked with the biggest death risk. If you aren't menstruating, choose a multi without iron, too, unless your doctor prescribes it. Iron overloads can damage your heart and liver. Take half your multi in the morning and half in the early evening to spread out the coverage.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D has many benefits, including improved bone and brain health. Experts recommend 1,000 IU a day (1,200 IU if you’re older than 60). Make sure it's vitamin D3, the most active form.
  • Calcium and magnesium. Get 600 mg of calcium from a daily supplement, and the other 600 mg of calcium from food. Add 200 mg of magnesium to counter the constipation/bloating that calcium can cause.
  • Take 200 mg to 900 mg of the DHA form of omega-3s, the potent fatty acid that protects against memory loss, heart attacks, stroke, impotence and even wrinkles. Get some lutein, too. It guards your vision with only 20 mg a day.
Ignore Internet hype and don't take megadoses of anything, especially huge amounts of vitamin D.

Finally, EAT HEALTHFULLY! This includes consuming lots of fruits, veggies, beans and 100% whole grains, as well as fish. (Some poultry is OK but eat very little red meat.) Resist inhaling junk food just because you took your vitamins today. Smart people know pills support -- not replace -- a healthful diet.

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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.