post At What Age Should I Start Taking Multivitamins?

At What Age Should I Start Taking Multivitamins?

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 16, 2024
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As a fitness coach, I recommend considering well-rounded multivitamin supplements around the age of 18, when individuals often start taking greater control of their health and fitness.

Over the years, I’ve done in-depth research and consultations with fellow experts to find out what’s best for boosting fitness efforts. I learned it's crucial to incorporate vitamin-rich supplements into a well-balanced diet and regular physical exercise.

If you have specific health concerns, consulting with a healthcare professional can help. Meanwhile, read on to understand more about the right time and type of multivitamin that may be good for you.

Quick Summary

  • There is no specific age at which you can take multivitamins, but it depends on your nutritional needs as you grow older.
  • Young children may not need multivitamins if they receive sufficient vitamin D and C from their diet.
  • Adolescents should aim for a daily intake of 600 IU of vitamin D and 9 to 11 mg of zinc.
  • As a fitness trainer, I advise clients to prioritize their well-being by including age-specific multivitamins in their routine, along with maintaining a nutritious diet and engaging in regular exercise.

At What Age Should You Take Multivitamins?

A family smiling in front of the camera

The age at which you should consider taking multivitamins depends on various factors, including your diet and regular check-ups, as advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Young children might not need multivitamins if they get enough vitamin D and C from their diet and have regular check-ups [1].

Prioritizing nutritious foods is crucial, especially with excessive fast food consumption.

A healthy diet rich in vitamin E, calcium, and essential nutrients generally suffices for young children's growth. While vitamin or calcium supplements may be recommended, a balanced diet is essential for sufficient vitamins from essential nutrients.

Should You Take Multivitamins While on a Healthy Diet?

Yes, taking multivitamins while on a healthy diet can be beneficial to address potential micronutrient deficiencies.

There's a distinction between multivitamins from your diet and those from supplements. Multivitamins from food synergize, while those from supplements often work in isolation.

Research from the National Institute of Health suggests that vitamins from food have specific effects on the body that are not replicated when isolated in supplements [2].

Nevertheless, specific groups like breastfeeding women, elderlies with or without chronic diseases, strict vegans, and individuals with food allergies or malabsorption problems may need daily multivitamins for deficiencies.

The Most Important Nutrients for Your Age

A mother with her child holding a vitamin container

Consider incorporating specific vitamin and mineral supplements tailored to your age, even if you're generally healthy. Consult with a doctor before making any additions.

Infancy

Research from the National Institute of Health recommends infants, especially those born prematurely, may benefit from vitamin A for healthy vision, iron to prevent anemia, and extra vitamin C if not consuming formula [3].

Childhood

Children may show varying interest in eating and mealtimes and are often picky eaters. According to the Journal of Nutritional Science, young children may benefit from vitamin supplements with the recommended amounts of Vitamin A, D, C, B2, and Folic Acid [4].

Tween and Teen Years

In the tween and teen years, the Cleveland Clinic recommends emphasizing sufficient zinc and vitamin D intake to enhance immunity. According to the same research, adolescents should aim for a daily intake of 600 IU of Vitamin D and 9 to 11 mg of zinc [5].

“We need calcium for bone and muscle growth, but it doesn’t get absorbed as well without vitamin D, these are the bone-building years for boys and girls, and if you don’t build enough bone, you will be prone to brittle bones later in life.”

- Stephanie Schiff, RDN, Nutritionist at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital in Huntington, New York

Here you can find the best multivitamins for teens.

Twenties

A guy taking a vitamin

In your twenties, consider incorporating vitamin B12 and other essential nutrients based on your diet. Keep up with the intake of calcium and vitamin D, particularly considering the needs of vegans who may require extra B vitamins.

You’ll surely want to continue with calcium and vitamin D intake. (See the best vitamin D supplements).

For vegans, you can opt for one of the best vegan-friendly multivitamins.

Also read: The best overall multivitamins for athletes

Thirties

In their 20s and 30s, especially during child-bearing years, women are advised by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to consider taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid and B vitamins [6].

Those with heavy periods may need extra iron, which can be found in one of the premium multivitamins for females.

Finally, you shouldn't forget calcium and Vit D. We recommend you check out the best overall multivitamins for men.

Forties

Old people smiling

In your forties, B-complex, calcium, and vitamin D become crucial and are associated with various diseases. Explore the best multivitamins for diabetics, considering the heightened risk of age-related diseases. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic suggests considering omega-3 fatty acids for heart health [7].

Also read: Best multivitamins for fitness and bodybuilding

Fifties and Sixties

According to a research form the John Hopkins Medicine, ensuring sufficient calcium and Vitamin D can help strengthen your bone health and prevent osteoporosis in your fifties and sixties. Additionally, consider incorporating fish oil supplements to support heart health [8].

Also read: Best Multivitamins For Men Over 50

Seventies and Eighties

As we age, it becomes essential to supplement with vitamin B12 due to decreased production. Additionally, prioritize the intake of calcium and vitamin D for overall health [9].

You may also like: The best K2 and D3 supplements

FAQs

Can 14 Year Old Take Multivitamins for Adults?

It's advisable for 14-year-olds to take multivitamins designed for their age, not for adults. These formulations cater to their specific nutritional requirements for healthy growth. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

What Is the Age Limit for Vitamins?

There isn't a specific age limit for vitamins, as nutritional needs vary. However, it's crucial to choose age-appropriate supplements. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the right vitamins and dosages based on individual health and age requirements.

Should Every Elderly Person Take Multivitamins?

Not every elderly person needs to take multivitamins. It depends on their individual health, diet, and potential nutrient deficiencies.

While healthy and active seniors can obtain essential nutrients from a diverse diet, some may experience deficiencies due to impaired absorption or insufficient intake.

Underlying causes may include various factors such as health problems like depression, several medical conditions, or a limited diet.

Those with an unbalanced and insufficiently varied diet, lacking multiple daily servings of vegetables, foods, dairy products, and meats, may benefit from considering high-quality multivitamins.


References:

  1. https://share.upmc.com/2023/03/does-my-child-need-to-take-vitamins/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4863273/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2083301/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7288613/
  5. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-boost-your-kids-immunity/
  6. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/nutrition-during-pregnancy
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/omega-3/art-20045614
  8. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/vitamin-d-and-calcium
  9. https://www.ccjm.org/content/ccjom/67/3/155.full.pdf
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