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Posted on 12.23.2011
Should You Be Taking A Multivitamin?

Are multivitamins really needed?

Sometimes multivitamins are needed and sometimes they are not. If you eat a well balanced diet then a multivitamin may not be needed. However, if you are on a weight loss diet, pregnant or breastfeeding, aging, or have a medical condition, such as anemia, then a multivitamin may be beneficial. Vitamins are used for transforming foods into energy and are for body maintenance. There are 13 main vitamins and if any one is missing a deficiency becomes apparent. Vitamin deficiency diseases are very uncommon in the United States.

Questions to ask yourself before determining if you need a multivitamin:

  • Do you eat 6-11 servings of grains per day?

  • Do you eat 2 servings of fruit per day?

  • Do you eat 3 servings of vegetables per day?

  • Do you eat 2 or more servings of dairy foods per day?

  • Do you eat 2-3 servings of meat per day?

  • Is skipping meals a common practice for you?

If you answered NO to 3 or more of these you may want to ask you doctor about adding a multivitamin.

Functions of vitamins and what foods they are found in:

Name: Vitamin A
Function: Needed for normal growth in children, good vision, healthy skin and hair
Found In: Milk, butter, cheese, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, yellow fruit and vegetables

Name: Thiamine (B1)
Function: Needed for proper heart and nervous system function, metabolize carbohydrates
Found In: Pork, liver, chicken, fish, beef, whole grains, yeast, cereal, nuts, and beans

Name: Riboflavin (B2)
Function: Needed for healthy skin and for building and maintaining body tissues, metabolize carbs, proteins, and fats
Found In: Milk, liver, meat, fish, eggs, cereal, green leafy vegetables

Name: Pyroxidine (B6)
Function: Needed for healthy teeth and gums, red blood cells, and the nervous system
Found In: Pork, organ meats, poultry, fish, legumes, seeds, whole grains

Name: Vitamin C
Function: Needed for healthy teeth, gums, bones, strong body cells, and blood vessels
Found In: Citrus fruit, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cabbage, potatoes, kale, parsley, turnip greens, broccoli

Name: Vitamin D
Function: Needed for strong teeth and bones and to maintain calcium and phosphorus levels
Found In: Exposure to sunlight, fortified foods, and fish liver oils

Name: Vitamin E
Function: Needed for the functioning of red blood cells and it protects vitamin A
Found In: Vegetable oils, whole grains, leafy vegetables, egg yolk, legumes, and nuts

Name: Vitamin K
Function: Needed for the production of prothrombin in normal blood clotting
Found In: Lettuce, spinach, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, egg yolk, soybean oil, liver

Name: Vitamin B12
Function: Needed for red blood cell maturation and for normal function of all body cells
Found In: Green leafy vegetables, liver, beef, fish, dry beans, lentils, whole grains

Name: Folic Acid
Function: Needed to maintain functions of the intestinal tract and for DNA and red blood cell synthesis
Found In: Green leafy vegetables, liver, beef, fish, dry beans, lentils, whole grains

Name: Niacin
Function: Needed to convert food to energy, aid the nervous system, and help loss of appetite
Found In: Liver, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains, cereal, peanuts and peanut butter

Name: Biotin
Function: Needed for fatty acid synthesis and metabolism of carbs
Found In: Organ meats, egg yolk, legumes, nuts

Name: Pantothenic Acid
Function: Needed for metabolism of carbs, proteins, and fats, and formation of some hormones
Found In: Meat, egg yolk, whole grains, legumes, and yeast


Nutrition Archives

Posted on 12.21.2011