Vitamin/Mineral Supplement

Discuss some of the pros and cons of taking a vitamin/mineral supplement to meet micronutrient needs.

Pros. Multivitamin and mineral supplements (MVMs) help people with unbalanced diets, people who take medications that interfere with nutrient absorption, calcium for vegans, vitamin C for smokers, vitamin B for alcoholics, and Iron for pregnant woman (Smith & Collene, 2016, p. 324). Everybody’s body is different. We have diseases, allergies, and bad habits where MVMs help support those who have no choice or choose to eat what they like.

Cons. MVMs are toxic if too many are taken within a day (Smith & Collene, 2016, p. 278). Most studies indicate no discernible advantage (Smith & Collene, 2016, p. 323). The textbook emphasizes that you should eat food over MVMs and speak to your physician or a dietitian before you decide to take any.

If someone's diet is less than ideal, do you think taking a vitamin/mineral supplement is a good way to "make up" for the poor diet? Why or why not?

I think that the person should gradually eat what will provide them the nutrients they need in place of the supplement. The saying goes, “old habits die hard” is something that everyone struggles with. If you can quit taking a supplement right away and start eating the foods that give you the vitamins and minerals you need, then that’s great. However, most people don’t do that so that’s why I would recommend a gradual transition to eating more food over supplements.


Smith, A., & Collene, A. (2016). Wardlaw’s Contemporary Nutrition (10 ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.