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Question of the Month: How do I know if multivitamins are safe and if I should take them?

Certain micronutrient deficiencies may require supplementation, so check with your doctor before taking multivitamins or specific micronutrients. That said, new research is emerging showing the potential dangers of some supplements. It appears excess minerals such as iron, zinc, and copper are of real concern, as they can increase risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

We recommend taking a multivitamin that does not include minerals (unless recommended by your physician). Just taking the vitamin portion appears to be fine, as many vitamins like vitamins B and C are water soluble and hard to overdo. B12 is another vitamin that has no known toxicity. Vitamin B12 is important for vegans and adults older than 50 years (older adults lack absorption), so B12 is often taken as an individual supplement. The recommended amount is 2.4 micrograms per day and most supplements have anywhere from 250-1,000 micrograms per capsule.

This site does not provide medical or legal advice. This Web site is for informational purposes only.
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Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste.400, Washington DC, 20016
Phone: 202-686-2210     Email: pcrm@pcrm.org