Most people don't need supplements. Eating a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods is the best way for most people to obtain the nutrients they need to be healthy and reduce their risk of chronic disease. However, there are some people who may need supplements to help meet their nutrition needs.
Your doctor or registered dietitian might recommend a vitamin/mineral supplement when:
- You are on a restrictive diet: eating less than 1,600 calories per day
- You are an older adult (50+)
- You are a vegetarian or vegan
- You are pregnant or a woman of child-bearing age
- You have a medical condition that limits your food choices
A registered dietitian can help you evaluate your eating pattern and determine whether a vitamin/mineral supplement is right for you.
If you are physically active, learn more about nutrition supplements for athletes.
Reviewed January 2013