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What Kind of Multivitamin Should I Take?

What Kind of Multivitamin Should I Take?

Q: I want to start taking a multivitamin to help pick up where my nutrition leaves off. How do I know what kind to get?

A: The first question I have to ask is why you are not getting all the nutrients you need in your diet? Obtaining nutrients through food is better than taking a supplement BY FAR. Nutrition is about the complex interaction of the components of the food we eat, and there is little evidence that taking individual micronutrients in the form of vitamin pills has any added benefit.

In fact, a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine followed over 60,000 women for eight years and concluded that supplements had no effect on the risk for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or overall mortality.

Unless you have a documented deficiency (calcium, Vitamin D, iron and Vitamin B are the most common), you are likely wasting your money on supplements.

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at

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Dr. Brent

As an undergraduate, Dr. Brent Ridge majored in public health and environmental science, studying the way the state of the natural environment impacts our health choices. As a physician, he specializes in the field of aging. Send your health questions to Dr. Brent at


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5:06AM PST on Jan 12, 2011

Thanks for the info.

5:11PM PST on Dec 18, 2010

Your future starts now.
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1:46AM PDT on Aug 31, 2010


4:36AM PDT on Aug 11, 2010

Thanks for the info.

10:29AM PDT on Jun 6, 2010


4:57AM PDT on May 23, 2010

I have to buy a multivitamin and take it.

6:06AM PDT on May 15, 2010


5:02AM PDT on May 5, 2010


1:47PM PST on Mar 1, 2010

I will follow my GYN who knows me and women on this. Vitiam D, calcium, Fish Oil, are all good things for women to get plenty of. We don't get enough in our diets.

1:01PM PST on Feb 20, 2010

i try to take only what I feel like I need....

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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