Multivitamins are supplements that contain a combination of vitamins and minerals, with some products also made with added ingredients such as herbs, fatty acids and amino acids. Sometimes they’re simply called multivits or, to shorten their name even further, multis. They’re also incredibly popular. According to a survey by marketing research company Mintel, of the six in 10 British people who have taken vitamin and mineral supplements, well over half take multivitamins (i).

For many of us, a healthy balanced diet should provide all the nutrients we need. However, there are a number of different reasons for taking a multivitamin:

  • A good-quality multivitamin may help increase your intake of important nutrients, which can be especially helpful during times when – for whatever reason – you can’t get the nutrients you need from food alone.
  • Different types of multivitamins may be helpful for those who have specific health problems (though while they may support overall wellbeing they haven’t been proven to actually prevent, treat or cure any health condition).
  • Certain groups may benefit from taking multivitamins too, including pregnant women, people who are very active and older people.