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Are Daily Multivitamins Important for Arthritis Patients?


Updated August 05, 2013

Question: Are Daily Multivitamins Important for Arthritis Patients?

It is common medical advice - take a daily multivitamin.

  • Is it important for arthritis patients to take a daily multivitamin?
  • Is the recommendation to take a multivitamin more significant for people with chronic illness than the general population?
  • With a healthy, nutritious diet, are multivitamins still recommended?
  • What are the risks or consequences associated with not taking a daily multivitamin?

Multivitamins Contain Essential Nutrients

Vitamins contain essential nutrients but many also contain other compounds purported to be good for your health. It is important for arthritis patients and those without arthritis to take a multivitamin. The nutrients included in an essential multivitamin include:

  • Folic acid and other B vitamins (i.e., Thiamine, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine, Cyanocobalamin) which are important nutrients for the bone marrow and nervous system.
  • Vitamin D which is necessary for proper bone formation and strength.
  • Vitamin A which is helpful with vision.

Does a Good Diet Lessen the Need for a Multivitamin?

If you have an excellent diet, you may be able to get these essential nutrients without a supplement, but this is often difficult.

Multivitamins - Can There Be Too Much of a Good Thing?

Scott J. Zashin MD, said "Taking too much Vitamin D may increase your risk for kidney stones, although the typical amount included in a multivitamin (400 IU) is a low amount, so this would be unusual. Also, taking too much folic acid may mask a deficiency of Vitamin B12, which could predispose a patient to anemia and inflammation of the nerves. Taking 400 mcg of folic acid found in an essential multivitamin should not cause this problem though."

Dr. Zashin is clinical assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and an attending physician at Presbyterian Hospitals of Dallas and Plano. Dr. Zashin is author of Arthritis Without Pain - The Miracle Of TNF Blockers. The book is useful for anyone on one of the biologic drugs or considering the biologic drugs.

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