Health

Do I Need to Take Multivitamins?

by Cristina Corvino 1:42 PM, October 4, 2017

Aired October 5, 2017

As it turns out, you really are what you eat.

And Dr. Mike Varshavski -- the most-liked doctor on Instagram, with 2.6 MILLION followers -- stands by that.

“It’s an old statement,” he says, “but it’s actually a very accurate statement to this day.”

And it holds true when it comes to vitamin intake -- which the family doctor says is the No. 1 topic his patients ask him about.

So, let’s do a little VITAMIN 101:

WHAT ARE VITAMINS?

“[They are] little nutrients that are found in food that help your body function [and] grow,” Dr. Mike says.

WHAT ARE VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS?

As the doc explains, they are the nutrients found in a lot of foods put into supplement products, such as pills or powders.

WHAT ARE THE TWO TYPES OF VITAMINS?

Water-soluble and fat-soluble.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WATER-SOLUBLE AND FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS?

According to Dr. Mike, the main difference between these two types is that water-soluble vitamins can be excreted through urine, while fat-soluble vitamins can build up in your body. So, ultimately, fat-soluble vitamins can potentially cause problems if you have too many.

See a breakdown of those two types below:
 


DO YOU NEED TO TAKE MULTI-VITAMINS?

Well, as the Insta-popular doc puts it, there are two schools of thought on this.

The first: If you’re not getting enough nutrition from your diet, take a multivitamin because there is little downside and it could help with your vitamin deficits.

The second: It’s better to get your vitamins directly from healthy food, so focus on a well-balanced diet.

Rach points out that since multivitamins can be very expensive, "you might better spend your money on the actual food."

 


But Dr. Mike cautions against taking vitamin supplements off the table altogether.

“If you think you’re deficient, if you think there’s something wrong with you,” he urges, “go talk to your doctor. Have that conversation. Because there are certain populations that need vitamins.”

WHAT FOODS ARE GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMINS?

For starters, you’ll find vitamin B12 in cheese and eggs and vitamin D in steak, salmon and milk -- to name a few.

 


The more you know!

MORE:
Dr. Ian's Slim-Down Drink Guide: Sports Drinks & Vitamin-Enhanced Water
7 Simple Things You Can Do Every Day to Stay Healthy
Healthy or Hype? Our Nutrition Expert Decodes the Latest Good-For-You Food Fads