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4 Signs You May Need a Multivitamin, According to Dietitians

Getting sick a lot and feeling tired are just a few signs that it might be time for a multivitamin.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

Anyone who aims to stay as fabulously fit and healthy as possible likely knows that it's essential to eat a nourishing diet that will provide you with the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients. At the same time, you're also surely aware of the fact that it can be challenging to ensure that your meals are balanced and that you're getting exactly what you need in order to keep your body feeling well and working properly. Although taking vitamin supplements can fill in some gaps in your nutritional needs, it can also be tricky to figure out what kind of vitamins you should be taking on a regular basis. That's when multivitamins might enter the picture. But how do you know if you need a multivitamin?

An undeniably popular option, it's thought that around one-third of adults in the United States take multivitamins or minerals, according to the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements. That's perhaps why it shouldn't be surprising to find out that these particular supplements made up 38% of sales when it came to vitamin and mineral supplements in the U.S. during 2019.

With that in mind, you might be wondering if you should be taking a multivitamin, which is why you'll definitely want to check out the following information from Lexi Moriarty, MS, RDN, CSSD, RYT, owner of Expert Nutrition and Wellness, LLC, who tells Eat This, Not That! that there can be some tell-tale signs that you may need a multivitamin.

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You get tired and lose your breath easily

woman exhausted during workout

Experiencing low energy levels on a regular basis can be a sign of various issues. For instance, you might have an illness, you might be overworked, or you may not be sleeping well. At the same time, having trouble breathing can be a sign that you need to check the health of your lungs. 

On the other hand, Moriarty says that, "Low energy levels or feeling more easily winded could be a sign that you're anemic or have low iron stores."

While you may be unsure about your own iron levels, around 10 million people in the United States are iron deficient, according to the National Library of Medicine. Among those individuals, five million deal with iron deficiency anemia. If you suspect that you have anemia or simply need more iron in your system, then the Mayo Clinic notes that you may also notice other symptoms such as pale skin, headaches, dizziness, and chest pain as well as cold hands and feet. They also suggest seeing a doctor if this is the case. The health professional will be able to give you guidance around possible treatments, including potentially adding a supplement to your daily routine.

Moriarty says that "Taking a multivitamin with iron can help boost your iron stores and increase the quality of your red blood cells, which can improve energy levels and oxygen transport," which will certainly leave you feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

You have brittle hair and nails

According to Healthline, dry hair that tends to break and split may be the result of living in a place that happens to be hot, using harmful styling products, or having certain health issues. As for brittle nails, they can be caused by hypothyroidism, Raynaud's syndrome, and aging, as well as not getting enough moisture.

Beyond that, Moriarty explains that "Brittle hair and nails can be a sign of a nutrient deficiency," meaning that you might not be getting enough "zinc, iron, biotin, or other B vitamins."

As you might have hoped, Moriarty also says "Taking a daily multivitamin can help to cover your bases when it comes to meeting all of your vitamin and mineral needs, and can ultimately improve your hair and nail health."

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You get sick a lot

sick women sneezing into tissue while laying down

"If you notice that you're getting more than the average three to four colds per year, this could be a sign that you're missing key nutrients in your body," Moriarty says, while pointing out that having a poor immune system is something that you need to avoid in order to keep yourself healthy.

Along with helping you fight off colds, your immune system can protect you from various germs and unwanted organisms—such as viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungi—as well as diseases and infections, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Fortunately, Moriarty points out that "There are nutrients that are essential for supporting a healthy immune system, like vitamins C, A, and D, and a daily multivitamin can help make sure that you're meeting your daily needs."

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You are prone to injuries

Suffering from a broken bone can be painful and inconvenient. It's also an unfortunately common injury with around 15 million fractures occurring every year in the United States, according to Medical News Today. On top of that, it can take months to heal and even years to fully repair injured bones.

You can increase your chances of avoiding this unpleasant situation by keeping your bones healthy and, in turn, strong. Moriarty says that "If you notice that you're getting injured easily, taking a multivitamin may help." This is due to the fact that "Calcium and vitamin D both play a part in bone health and integrity." Moriarty explains that "If you're lacking in either or both of these nutrients, it could be showing up in your bones."

If you feel that any of these signs that you need a multivitamin apply to you, you may want to talk with your doctor about starting one as soon as you can.

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée
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