- Reviewed by Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
The general consensus is that healthy people who eat right need a vitamin or mineral supplement only if they have a diagnosed vitamin or mineral deficiency. In older adults this often means a shortage of vitamin B12, B6, or D or a mineral like calcium or magnesium. Even then, it's best to increase your intake of foods rich with these vital nutrients.
If you have trouble eating enough of the right foods, have a digestive disorder that affects absorption, or have very low levels of a particular vitamin or mineral, your doctor may prescribe a daily supplement of that nutrient.
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About the Author
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
About the Reviewer
Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
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