I have been taking a vitamin supplement for 5 years now(centrum silver) but lately I have been wondering if it is really necessary. I have read articles that say it may do more harm than good that you probably get enough vitamins in normal eating. Just wanted to get the opinion others who have similar doubts or opinions.
I have some doubts too and I try to get most of my vitamins from food. I take B-12 because I don't eat any significant amount of animal protein. And I have been taking vitamin D because my last blood test indicated that I was below the normal range. I don't believe in taking a multi-vitamin.
In my opinion, one should only take vitamins if there is specific evidence of a need. If you eat a healthful diet of whole foods and you feel well, you may not need to take any vitamins.
Having said that, I was doing very well without B-12 and D3. I tested normal for B-12 but decided to take it because everything I read said that B-12 comes from animal products. Then I got tested for D3 even though I was in good health. Since I started supplementing with D3 I don't feel any better and sometimes a little worse. Perhaps I need to adjust the dosage.
Be careful how you define "healthy". Many fruits and vegetables you buy in the local super market are not as "healthy" as you may think. If you want to invest money in improving your nutritional intake, fork out the extra bucks for organic. The nutritional quality will be felt immediately.
I'm a little late to the topic, but I wanted to echo some of the ideas that have been mentioned. Many studies have shown that the best way to get vitamins, minerals, etc. is through natural food. It is always best to try to get the nutrients your body needs through a natural diet. However, it may not be possible for you to get everything you need, in sufficient amounts. This is where supplements can be useful. That is not to say though, that you should load up on as many vitamins and minerals as you can. As was previously mentioned, overloading on vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants can be counterproductive, and possibly harmful. It is best to monitor your normal diet, and determine which aspects are lacking, and then choose a supplement based on that. A general multivitamin, like the one you mentioned, is usually formulated in sensible amounts, to help avoid overloading. However, you want to be careful to make sure you are not overdoing it by a lot.
To add to the last post, you also want to keep in mind that many supplements/vitamins are made using extractions or are synthetically derived. If you do decide to take a nutritional supplement, make sure that you take one that is made from whole foods so that your body is properly able to absorb it!