Multivitamins started being used by Americans in the early 1940s after they were discovered. They are quite popular today, and studies show that more than a third of the United States population consumes multivitamins. When taking any drug, safety should be an important entity to watch out for. For healthy individuals, basic multivitamin nutrients pose no threat. However, caution should be exercised in individuals who take both multivitamins and consume fortified foods as they may ingest nutrients exceeding the recommended upper limit and could result in adverse side effects.
There are different groups of multivitamins available in the market. The first group is the once-daily multivitamins that have most of the nutrients required by the body. Based on the different needs of different groups of populations, multivitamins with the same nutrient are packaged at different dosage levels to fit the children, women, pregnant mothers, seniors, and adults. The next group is the one in which certain vitamins at a higher level than the recommended dietary intake meant to be taken daily and are safe. The last group is the specialized multivitamin to enhance performance, control weight, counter menopause and improve the immune system. They contain an additional element such as sterols or enzymes. Daily use of multivitamins is recommended as long as it is within the recommended dietary intake.
Multivitamins have several benefits such as improving health and preventing chronic disease. Smokers should, however, avoid using multivitamins containing vitamin A as it has been linked with the risk of developing lung cancer. The amount of vitamin in multivitamins does not go beyond the recommended amount thus safe and can only cause harm if taken several folds. Thus daily intake of multivitamins is recommended as long as it does not exceed the upper limit.