People who oppose supplementation argue that you can get all you need by eating real food. I eat a lot of real food but I also take supplements. I look at my multivitamin as a sort of insurance to make sure I am not missing any micronutrients.
An apple a day (the saying from when I was a kid) is more like 4.3 apples per day today to get the same nutrients.
There is no arguing that our food supply has changed. The overuse of chemicals in agriculture binds/chelates minerals and make them not usable to the plant or to us. But I digress...
A multivitamin helps you get nutrients you may not be getting enough of from your diet. This brings me to the RDI (recommended dietary intake) or ODI (optimal dietary intake); these values are based on the amount needed to prevent disease. This is not the amount you need to maintain optimal health; I will say it again - it is the amount to prevent disease! For example, enough Vitamin C to prevent scurvy or enough iron to prevent anemia.
The other issue I hear brought up frequently is getting too much of vitamins/minerals. Most vitamins are water soluble so your body will get rid of or has the ability to get rid of what it does not need (as a side the fat soluble vitamins are D, E, K, A).
My favorite multivitamins are:
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Our blog editor and Athlon Nutrition founder Sara Jane Weidner holds her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. See citations in each post for author credits.