Daily Multi-Vitamins: Do they work?
Our research shows that 77% of people who take a daily multi-vitamin (of any brand), take it every day, all year round. Worryingly, our research also shows 4 out of 10 people don’t know how to check the label of their daily multi-vitamin for the quality of ingredients or nasty additives.
“Do I need to take a daily multi-vitamin?” and “Do daily multi-vitamins make any difference?” are two of the most common questions our nutritionists are asked. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer, because it depends on the daily multi-vitamin and of course the individual, any other supplements you may be taking, and your individual needs. That’s why at DR.VEGAN® our nutritionists are on hand to offer free advice and created our free online Diet Profile to help you understand your diet and your body’s needs. We also have hundreds of articles with tips and advice on how to improve your diet and health.
Our independent research of 289 women and men who take a daily multi-vitamin highlights why people choose their daily multi-vitamin, how long they’ve been taking them, if they work and how they help. Here are the results.
Create your free Diet Profile - it only takes 3 minutes.
Why should I take a daily multi-vitamin?
Our body needs dozens of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and nutrients every day to survive and function at its best. They all contribute to our health, from our mood, energy, mental performance, healthy skin and hair to our muscles and joints, our immunity, our ability to fight of bugs and disease, and much more.
It's the variety of foods that we eat that really matters. For example, did you know red peppers have twice the level of Vitamin C than green peppers, which is vital for your immunity and skin, and 11x more beta-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A? However, green peppers pack a higher amount of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds than red, orange or yellow peppers, so they’re equally important for different functions.
As another example, Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of selenium, which is so important for your mood, while almonds contain excellent healthy fats and fibre that support lower blood sugar levels, healthy blood pressure and cholesterol.
Just eating one type of pepper or nut will provide far less benefits than different colours of peppers and a variety of nuts. This is why it is so important to eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet, because every food we eat provides something different. You may also enjoy reading '5 delicious 'superfoods' you need to know about'.
Nutritionists generally agree that most of us should take a good-quality daily multi-vitamin each day. This is because, with the the reality of modern life, it can be very difficult to get a healthy and varied diet every day. As a result, we can build up nutrient deficiencies which are harder to recover from and can lead to fatigue, poor gut health, poor skin, lack of concentration and focus, mood swings, imbalanced hormones and much more. You may also be interested in reading about common vegan deficiencies and 'What supplements should vegans take?'.
If you’re taking other supplements for specific goals, like a natural supplement to relieve symptoms of menopause, or a supplement to improve hair growth and strength, these supplements may also contain some of the vital nutrients provided in a daily multi-vitamin. In many cases, it may be OK or even advisable to take a daily multi-vitamin alongside your other supplements; it just depends on your personal circumstances. You also need to be wary of having too much of certain nutrients, such as iron and zinc, which can cause health issues if taken in excess.
You may be interested in learning about the benefits of taking probiotics after antibiotics.
Benefits of taking a daily multi-vitamin
One reason nutritionists advise taking a high-quality daily multi-vitamin is a good option is because even if you’re eating a healthy, varied diet, the soils our crops are grown in around the world contain up to 40% less nutrients than they did 50 or even 20 years ago due to over-farming and the use of pesticides.
Our research shows 61% of people take a daily multi-vitamin to improve overall wellbeing, while 41% do so to fill gaps in their diet. There are, however, other important reasons people take a daily multi-vitamin, including providing more energy, protecting against infections and colds, and improving hair, skin and nails, while factors such as improving mood, sleep and digestion are also important.
Will I notice the difference taking a daily multi-vitamin?
This very much depends on the quality of the daily multi-vitamin and if it’s right for you. For example, research shows that 56% of people who take the award-winning DR.VEGAN Daily Multi-Vitamin notice the difference when they don’t take it for a few days.
Unfortunately, the high street and internet are plagued with multi-vitamins with poor ingredients that are not absorbed well, contain nasty additives, and have far too low levels of vital nutrients. As a result, many people are wasting their money. To highlight the point, 47% of people who take the DR.VEGAN® Daily Multi-Vitamin find it more effective than previous brands they've tried, and 98% of people find it effective.
Research shows more than two-thirds of people have been taking a daily multi-vitamin for a year or more, while 30% have been taking a daily multi-vitamin for 5 years or more. 71% of people said they felt a difference in their wellbeing within 4 weeks of taking it daily.
If you’re unsure if your daily multi-vitamin is working for you, it’s fine to stop taking it for a few days or even a week or two, and if you notice a difference when you don't take it, that’s a sign it's working for you.
Is my daily multi-vitamin any good?
When choosing a daily multi-vitamin, or checking your current daily multi-vitamin to see if it’s providing any benefit, here’s a simple checklist.
How many ingredients does it contain?
In the case of daily multi-vitamins, more ingredients don’t always mean better. Some brands will put more ingredients into a daily multi-vitamin simply to say they have a 'big number', but very often the ingredients carry little or no health benefit. As a basic guide, a good daily multi-vitamin should contain 20-25 essential vitamins and minerals your body needs each day.
Check for ingredients important to your needs
The word ‘multi-vitamin’ is a broad church in the world of supplements, so make sure the daily multi-vitamin you choose has ingredients you need. A simple way to understand what you need is by completing our free online Diet Profile (it only takes 3 minutes).
If you’re suffering from fatigue and need energy support, check your levels of Vitamin B12, B vitamins and Iron. If you don’t eat much meat, or you’re a vegetarian or vegan, check for ingredients including Choline, Iron and Vitamin B12. If you’re looking for healthier skin and stronger hair, look for good levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Selenium, Zinc and Biotin.
Discover 'Why Zinc is so important for your immune system, hair and skin' and you may also enjoy learning about common nutrient deficiencies in a vegan diet.
Look at the NRVs of your daily multi-vitamin
The NRV (Nutrient Reference Value) is not a target to meet. So, if a supplement simply has 100% NRV of each ingredient, it means little or no thought has gone into the supplement formula and is unlikely to make much difference. NRVs are set by health authorities as the minimum amount of a nutrient you need through food (or supplements) to avoid a health condition caused by a deficiency in that nutrient.
Check the ingredients (not the nutritional table)
A nutritional table only contains the nutrients that have any nutritional value – it doesn’t show the other ingredients in a supplement, many of which are bad for you. Additives you’ll find in the ingredients section may include titanium dioxide, talc (yes, as in talcum powder), magnesium stearate, palm oil and many others.
Check for verified reviews
Sadly, there are a lot of fake reviews out there. Even platforms such as Trustpilot can be abused by brands uploading fake reviews. Trustpilot is the largest and most trusted review platform, and when checking reviews, make sure they have ‘Verified’ and a tick alongside the reviews. This means the reviews are based on a genuine buying experience.
Is a daily multi-vitamin the only supplement I need?
Depending on your individual health goals and needs, your gender, age, weight, hormones, diet, exercise, stress levels and other factors, it's quite possible you'll benefit from other supplements alongside a quality daily multi-vitamin.
While a high-quality daily multi-vitamin is an excellent daily supplement to support all these health goals, our research highlights other supplements most commonly taken alongside a daily multi-vitamin to address specific health needs. The most common supplements taken with a daily multi-vitamin are:
- Probiotics and prebiotics for gut health
- Menopause supplements
- Muscle and joint supplements
- Hair growth and skin supplements
- Energy boosting supplements
- Brain health and mental performance supplements
Do gummy multi-vitamins work?
Research shows capsules are the most common form of daily multi-vitamin taken, with just 25% of people opting for tablets and only 4% of people taking gummies. A few people use powder shakes. We always advise steering clear of tablets because they contain nasty additives and bulking agents to fill and bind a tablet together, which can cause nasty side effects and significantly reduce the absorbability of any nutrient.
Gummies can be enjoyable and provide some benefit; however, they generally contain very low levels of ingredients, so your gummies may not deliver the benefits you need. We always advise avoiding powder multi-vitamin and meal replacement shakes you need to mix with liquid because they contain plant-sweeteners or artificial-sweeteners that are up to 350x sweeter than sugar. As recently announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO), sweeteners in powder shakes can lead to long-term health risks, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. You may enjoy our nutritionists’ blog ‘Do meal replacement shakes work?’.
How does the DR.VEGAN® Daily Multi-Vitamin work?
Our survey showed the most common benefits of taking the DR.VEGAN® Daily Multi-Vitamin were overall wellbeing, better immunity, energy and skin, closely followed by improved nails, better moods, concentration, hair and relief from brain fog.
98% of people who take the DR.VEGAN® Daily Multi-Vitamin find it effective.
Our award-winning Daily Multi-Vitamin is an advanced formula with 24 essential nutrients. It contains naturally sourced, more effective and highly absorbable plant-based ingredients at their optimal levels. Discover why our Daily Multi-Vitamin is so good or browse our full range of award-winning multivitamins and supplements.
*UK survey based on responses from 289 men and women, nationally representative, September 2023.
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