The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is released to provide nutrition recommendations and information for health professionals and the public. These are revised every five years and are currently being discussed as the 2015 guidelines are being written.
Committees for the DGA have stated that Americans do not meet the recommended levels for vitamins A, D, E, C, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and that most women do not meet iron needs. In turn, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CNR) is suggesting that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans should include taking multivitamins/minerals in order to fill nutrient gaps because these needs are not being met through food. The CNR is composed of individuals from vitamin/mineral supplement companies, so these recommendations are being suggested to increase the public’s intake.
Ultimately, these suggestions cannot be universal. Each individual’s needs are unique, and a multivitamin/mineral supplement may not be appropriate for everyone. Seek first advice from a Registered Dietitian or your primary care Physician who will be able to make personal recommendations for your vitamin/mineral needs. A well balanced diet should be consumed in order to reach your daily needs of vitamins and minerals. Taking a vitamin/mineral supplement does not necessarily mean that your body can utilize all that it contains. Ingesting toxic levels of certain vitamins and minerals can be detrimental to your health as well. Just remember, more is not always better when it comes to vitamins and minerals.