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Although in a perfect world, we should get all the vitamins and minerals we need from the food we eat.  Sadly, this just doesn’t happen, especially consider the “junk” we often eat.  In short, we don’t get all the vitamins and minerals we need every day, either because we don’t eat right or they just aren’t in our food like they would be if we grew our own crops and slaughtered our own animals (no thank you!).  So for most, if not all of us, vitamin pills are a must have.

We’ve been told forever that it is best to get all of our vitamins from whole foods, however, for someone that isn’t – is there anything harmful about taking them in supplement form?

There is nothing inherently dangerous at all about vitamin pills.  At least not unless there is something harmful in the pill.  There is always the chance, and sometimes the reality is that vitamin pills contain harmful substances like lead.  Short of that, the vitamins and minerals themselves pose no threat.  It is therefore a good idea that you purchase your pills from a reputable source, probably in the U.S. (more about this in the last question)

What would you say the core vitamins are?

It is really difficult to call any vitamins “core” because they all have exclusive functions.  Think of a car that you religiously change the oil in and use the best products available.  But you don’t pay attention to the tires.  The fact that you are so great at worrying about the oil doesn’t affect the tires in any way.  Likewise, we could call calcium “core” because it is so crucial to strong, healthy bones.  But if you are deficient in vitamin B-12 at the same time, our cells cannot properly create energy for us to function properly.  Thus a B vitamin pill may be the ticket.

Can a multivitamin be a good option, or is it better to take
them separately?

That entirely depends on who “you” are.  If you are just an average person that wants to improve your health, a multivitamin is probably sufficient.  However, if you live in a particularly dark or rainy are, like Alaska or Seattle, you should also consider an extra vitamin D supplement because you need a LOT more than most people that see the sun often.  Likewise, if you have a strenuous job, such as a construction laborer, you might want more of the B vitamins because they are involved in energy production, of which you need more than the average person.

Most everyone should take a multivitamin pill and also any other vitamin pills that might be specific to their situation, such as illustrated above.

Are there any vitamin pill brands that are best to check out?

My preference is anything made by Nature’s Bounty, who also owns Vitamin World, Puritan Pride, Solgar, Body Fortress, Precision Engineered, Rexall, Sundown and a number of other brands.  I used to work for them and am familiar with their very high-quality standards for their vitamin pills.  Plus, they tend to sell their products at lower prices than most competitors.  There are plenty of other trustworthy brands such as:

  • GNC
  • Super Supplements
  • Vitamin Shoppe
  • NSI (Vitacost)
  • Nature Made
  • Thorne
  • Swanson
  • AdvoCare
  • Nutrilite
  • Rainbow Lite