Ideally, we'd all eat super healthful diets. But that's not the world we live in, and multivitamins may help bridge the nutritional gaps. Jasper White/Getty Images hide caption

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The Salt

Multivitamins: The Case For Taking One A Day

Multivitamins have gotten a bad rap. But studies suggest these dietary supplements may help plug the nutrition gaps resulting from our less-than-ideal eating habits.

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Even versions of Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen labeled "genuine" and "anti-counterfeit" have been found to contain the drug sibutramine, which was supposed to come off the U.S. market in 2010 for safety reasons. Food and Drug Administration hide caption

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Dietary supplements are generally defined as vitamins, minerals, herbs and extracts. They're regulated as a unique category of food by the Food and Drug Administration. hide caption

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With osteoarthritis, knees become swollen and stiff, and cartilage can degenerate. Ted Kinsman/Science Source hide caption

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If only it was as simple as popping a supplement and being set for life. But alas, no. hide caption

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Ads often tout dietary supplements and vitamins as "natural" remedies. But studies show megadoses of some vitamins can actually boost the risk of heart disease and cancer, warns Dr. Paul Offit. hide caption

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Some sports supplements contain the ingredient DMAA. The FDA has warned that DMAA may not be safe. hide caption

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Despite public health campaigns urging women in the U.S. to take folic acid, many are still not taking the supplements when they become pregnant. hide caption

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There might be much more caffeine than you think in those supplements you're taking. There also might be much less. Janine Lamontagne/iStockphoto hide caption

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Federal health officials recommend 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day for people younger than 50, but some are overdoing it. hide caption

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Staying fit and eating well can help cancer survivors, too, a review of the latest evidence shows. Lucy Pemoni/AP hide caption

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