Ideally, daily nutritional needs should be met through healthy eating, but many people's diets don't supply all the vitamins and minerals their bodies need. Multivitamins and other supplements may help prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and they can also provide more nutrients than diet alone, which may help protect against or manage certain diseases.
Certain people have a higher risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If you've lost weight, you may be deficient in a wide range of vitamins and minerals. If you're vegetarian, you may have deficiencies in protein, vitamin B12, iron, vitamin D, zinc, iodine, riboflavin, calcium and selenium. Vegans are especially likely to be low in protein, selenium and B12. If you're on a macrobiotic diet, you may be deficient in vitamin B12, iron, vitamin D and other nutrients. Seniors living in their own homes are often deficient in vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium and zinc and occasionally vitamin B1 and vitamin B2. And premenopausal women have been found to often consume low amounts of calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.
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