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Are Multivitamins an Insurance Policy for Good Health?

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, trying to follow all the studies on vitamins and health can make your head swirl. But, when it's all boiled down, it's actually pretty simple: A daily multivitamin is a great way to make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy.

The folic acid in most multivitamins helps prevent neural tube defects in newborns. It may lower the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and breast cancer. Vitamin D from a multivitamin or single supplement can lower the risk of colon and possibly many other cancers.

Of course, there can be too much of a good thing. It's important not to go overboard with vitamins. While a multivitamin can help fill some of the gaps in a less than optimal diet, too much can be harmful. In general, stick close to standard recommended doses. Most of all, make sure your multivitamin is made from food.

The Bottom Line

A daily multivitamin is a great nutrition insurance policy. Some extra vitamin D may add an extra health boost.