10 Common Myths About Multivitamins Everybody Believes

Multivitamins were first introduced way back in 1915 when Dr. Forrest Shaklee marketed a product called “Shaklee’s Vitalized Minerals,” which he later shortened to “vitamins,” the term we continue to call them today. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that vitamins really took off, with millions of health-conscious people keeping a bottle in their bathroom cabinet with the goal of getting their daily dose of all the essentials. But are these little orange pills really all they’re cracked up to be? Well, you’re about to find out! For this article, we’re going to get to the bottom of it by dispelling the 10 most popular misconceptions that people have about multivitamins. 

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Myth 1: Who needs ‘em when I’m already eating a well-balanced diet? 

While an optimally nutritious diet is theoretically possible, it is practically impossible to achieve in reality. Unless you have a team of dieticians doing your grocery shopping for you and cooks on hand to fix you up with meals that contain your daily allowance of sweet selenium and succulent cobalamin, it’s just not going to happen. In fact, there is plenty of research that shows people who don’t use supplements are far more likely to have deficiencies. What we’re saying is, you betta check yo self befo’ you wreck yo self, because not popping these pills is bad for yo health! 

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Myth 2: Unless I’m tired or sick, I’ll be fine without them

You might have this idea that vitamins are only needed as a quick picker-upper or when you’re feeling like crap, but, surprise, you are so, so wrong, guys! Just like anything in life, routine is key, and that’s especially true when it comes to multivitamins. So take them every day to get the most out of the benefits. 

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Myth 3: When I miss a day, taking a double dose is a totally awesome lifehack! 

Goodness, folks. What’s the matter with you? While the body is good at storing vitamin B12, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, and most other nutrients need to be replenished on a daily basis. Taking a second pill to make up for missing yesterday is as logical as scoring a couple of extra goals in today’s soccer match to win the previous match you lost. 

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Myth 4: I can take a multivitamin with or without food. Who cares, right?

Au contraire, mon frère! Many of the vitamins you know and love—A, D, E, K and probably Q or maybe that doesn’t exist—are fat-soluble and therefore need to be paired up with some fatty good stuff (bacon, perchance?) in order to ensure proper absorption. Furthermore, take a vitamin on an empty stomach for digestive discomfort, and you might just find yourself with a nasty case of digestive discomfort, and we certainly can’t have that now, can we? 

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Myth 5: I’m going to wait until I’m pregnant before I start taking multivitamins. 

Ladies, while we aren’t downplaying the extreme importance of taking a multivitamin during your pregnancy, it’s just as essential to take supplements even before conception. “But…but…but why?” you ask, scratching your head in utter bafflement. The simple matter is, that inadequate folic acid levels can lead to neural tube defects in the developing fetus, okay? Are we clear? Good!

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Myth 6: I’m on prescription drugs, so taking multivitamins is a big “no-no.”

This is generally not true. Although it is best to discuss these concerns with a doctor, for the most part, multivitamins don’t interact with prescription medications. Blood thinners such as Coumadin or Jantoven are a major exception, as multivitamins containing vitamin K will decrease their effectiveness. 

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Myth 7: Since I’m taking a daily multivitamin, I can eat all the fried chicken that I want!

We mean, yeah, you could. But we also know you’re saying that for the lolz. This myth is the inverse of Myth 1. Much like you still need a multivitamin when you’re eating healthy, it’s common sense that you would still want to make good food choices even when taking a vitamin. 

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Myth 8: Yellow or orange urine means I’m going to die, so I guess I better freak out. 

You are going to die. But not for a long, long time! You will be relieved to know that while taking vitamin B12 (riboflavin) in excess can indeed lead to yellow or orange-colored pee, it is completely harmless. 

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Myth 9: It doesn’t matter which multivitamin I choose because they’re all the same.

Whether you are male or female or are going from one life stage to another, it is important to note that your nutritional needs will differ and even evolve. Case in point: Centrum Silver was developed for the future elderly pickleball star that lurks deep within you!

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Myth 10: My bottle of expired multivitamins works just as well.

Those expiration dates that your vitamins come with aren’t there because you’re a calendarphile, or whatever they call people who have a fondness for the passage of time. Their potency really does diminish over time. So if their best days are behind them, it’s best to pitch them and buy yourself another bottle.