Why Should I Consider Supplementing My Multivitamin?

Jun 13, 2023 FAQsMultivitamins 5 MIN

Why Should I Consider Supplementing My Multivitamin?

Quick Health Scoop

  • Multivitamins are often seen as a way to help complement a healthy diet and fill in micronutrient gaps.
  • While multivitamins can provide an array of vitamins and minerals, there are some instances in which additional standalone supplements may be warranted.
  • The best way to know whether you should supplement your multivitamin is by being involved in your own health, practicing preventive care, and working closely with your healthcare provider.

Multivitamins are among the most widely used dietary supplements on the market today. Most people have some sort of multivitamin in their medicine cabinet. But while multivitamins are intended to help fill in nutritional gaps by providing daily nutritional support, are there instances when you should consider other supplements in addition to your daily multi?

Benefits of Multivitamins

The awareness that vitamins exist has only been around for approximately 100 years and the idea of taking supplemental vitamins began in the mid-20th century.[1]

Since then multivitamins have been seen as a basic nutritional insurance, to help ensure that an individual gets the daily micronutrients they need when diet alone may be falling short. This has made more sense in recent years, as quick convenience foods have made up a higher percentage of the Western diet pattern, often taking the place of minimally processed foods, such as whole fresh vegetables and fruits that are more nutrient-dense.

Overall, multivitamins can be used to help support nutritional adequacy in a way that complements a healthy diet.

When You May Need to Supplement Your Multivitamin

Although a daily multivitamin can be helpful to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet, there are some instances in which it may not be adequate.

The best way to know whether a multivitamin provides enough for you is to be involved in your personal wellness. It can be easy to go about your life without being aware of changes to your health.

Being under the regular care of a healthcare provider is a great way to practice preventive health. This includes screenings for potential nutrition-related concerns. From there, meeting with a registered dietitian can be a helpful next step for determining what food and supplement changes may be beneficial.

Below are some scenarios in which supplementing your multivitamin may be warranted.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps support immune health and bone health. But surveys indicate that at least 95% of the global population doesn’t get enough.[2] While our skin synthesizes some Vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight, there are a number of factors that determine how much is produced.

Most multivitamins contain some Vitamin D. For instance, Nature Made® Multivitamin Gummies provide 1000 IU (25 mcg) of Vitamin D3 per serving. Vitamin D3 is the body’s preferred form of Vitamin D. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin D is 600 IU for most adults, which is the amount you will find in many other multivitamins. The Endocrine Society guidelines suggest that between 6,000 IU to 10,000 IU per day for children and adults aged 19 years and older may be needed to correct a Vitamin D deficiency.[6]

If your Vitamin D levels are low, a higher dose may be prescribed by your healthcare provider for a temporary period. In this case, an additional Vitamin D supplement may be appropriate. Nature Made® offers plenty of standalone Vitamin D supplements, including 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10,000 IU options.

The only way to know whether your multivitamin provides enough Vitamin D or if a temporarily higher dosage is necessary is to have your blood levels measured by your healthcare provider.

Some Vitamin D3 supplements are also combined with Calcium because Vitamin D helps improve Calcium absorption. Others also contain Vitamin K2, as D3 and K2 work together to produce and activate proteins that promote calcium deposition into your bones. For instance, Nature Made Calcium 600 Mg With Vitamin D3 Softgels or Nature Made® Vitamin D3 + K2 Gummies. Your healthcare provider may suggest these additional supplements if they determine that your diet and multivitamin are not providing enough.

Learn More: Can You Get Vitamin D Through A Window?

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is important for proper red blood cell formation. Red blood cells contain a protein called hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout the body. A Vitamin B12 supplement may help reduce fatigue for those low in Vitamin B12.

Additionally, Vitamin B12 is an essential supplement for vegetarians. Vitamin B12 is not found widely in plant-based foods, so a supplement is a more reliable place to find it for individuals who don’t consume animal products.[3] Most multivitamins contain at least 100% of the Daily Value for Vitamin B12, which is 2.4 mcg. However, Vitamin B12 from food doesn’t have a high absorption rate, therefore larger doses of supplemental B12 — or multiple doses — may help meet needs.[4]

There’s no standardized upper limit for Vitamin B12 due to its low risk of toxicity.[5] For people who are concerned that they’re not getting enough Vitamin B12 through diet or their multivitamin, an extra standalone Vitamin B12 supplement may be a good idea. The best way to determine Vitamin B12 supplement dosage is to speak with your healthcare provider or registered dietitian.

Learn More: How Much Vitamin B12 Should I Take?


The best place in the diet to find the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA is fatty fish. You can get their precursor, ALA, in plant foods like walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds, but the conversion rate of ALA to EPA and DHA is low.[5]

If someone doesn’t consume fatty fish, they may want to consider an Omega-3 supplement. EPA and DHA are heart-healthy Omega-3s. Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

The majority of multivitamins on the market don’t contain Omega-3s as part of their formulation, so an additional supplement may be appropriate. Still, some do, such as Nature Made® Multivitamin + Omega-3 Gummies. Each serving contains 227 mg of fish oil, providing 60 mg of total EPA + DHA. Alternatively, there are plenty of individual Omega-3 supplements available to help meet the recommended 500 mg of EPA and DHA daily.

Learn More: Fish Oil Benefits: Why Omega-3s Are So Good For Your Wellness Routine

Enhance Your Supplement Routine With Nature Made®

Being involved in your personal health and working closely with your preventive healthcare team is important to keep tabs on your nutritional status. In addition to a well-rounded diet full of nutrient-rich foods, some people may benefit from certain individual supplements on top of their daily multivitamin.

Learn More About Multivitamins

Follow @NatureMadeVitamins on Instagram for new product news, healthy tips, and more.

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


  1. Semba RD. The discovery of the vitamins. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2012 Oct;82(5):310-5. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000124. PMID: 23798048.
  2. Reider CA, Chung RY, Devarshi PP, Grant RW, Hazels Mitmesser S. Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the 2005-2016 NHANES. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1735. Published 2020 Jun 10. doi:10.3390/nu120617354.
  3. Larpin C, Wozniak H, Genton L, Serratrice J. Alimentations végétariennes et véganes : quelles conséquences sur la santé ? [Vegetarian and vegan diets and their impact on health]. Rev Med Suisse. 2019 Oct 16;15(667):1849-1853. French. PMID: 31617971.
  4. Guéant JL, Guéant-Rodriguez RM, Alpers DH. Vitamin B12 absorption and malabsorption. Vitam Horm. 2022;119:241-274. doi: 10.1016/bs.vh.2022.01.016. Epub 2022 Mar 1. PMID: 35337622.
  5. Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Office of Dietary Supplements. Updated 22 Dec 2022. Retrieved 23 May 2023. Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Vitaminb12-HealthProfessional/
  6. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. “Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Vitamin D deficiency: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline.” July 2011. Accessed on August 9, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2011-0385


Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

NatureMade Contributor

Lauren specializes in plant-based living and vegan and vegetarian diets for all ages. She also enjoys writing about parenting and a wide variety of health, environmental, and nutrition topics. Find her at www.laurenpanoff.com.

Read More

Lynn M. Laboranti, RD

Science and Health Educator

Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read More