Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin Pill

As a child I took a once daily multivitamin (anyone remember the Flintstones Chewables?). Then as an adult a took a once daily multivitamin for roughly 10 years. One day I stopped. Today I’m sharing why I stopped taking my multivitamin, and what I’m doing today.

The reason I stopped taking my multivitamin was due to my own personal well-being, but there are a lot of reasons for and against taking a daily multivitamin so I want to cover those as well today.

Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin

Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin

What Happens When You Stop Taking Vitamins?

Also, the jury still seems to be out on whether everyone should take a multivitamin or not and the views shared by health experts in the mass media has changed – even over just the last few years.

I remember how I felt the day I stopped my multivitamin – fed up. For years when I would take my vitamin I would be overcome with extreme nausea shortly after. It would stop me dead in my tracks, I would plead with my body for the feeling to pass, most of the time I would get sick to my stomach and I even threw up a few times.

This seemed like such a terrible side effect to consuming something that was meant to make me “healthy.” Before stopping my vitamin I tried a few different brands, without luck. I also tried taking my vitamin with food, without food, in the morning and at night. I was getting sick no matter what. I decided this health supplement was not very healthy, for me, to cause me to be so sick.

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Sick from Vitamins

I’m not sure why it took me so long to stop taking the vitamin but I stopped. Around the same time I decided I would search on Google for my problem. I typed in “vitamin making me sick” and within seconds I finally had an answer. It was the iron in the pill. It was too much for my system and making my stomach upset. Vitamins make me sick.

I followed up with my family doctor who at the time said, “If it’s making you feel sick, don’t take it.” Because I consumed a well-balanced diet and regularly eat fruits and vegetables, she said I should be fine without taking a multivitamin. My bloodwork was also good.

Why I Started Vitamins Again

Because I had tried several vitamin types and brands by that point to try to get my body to be OK with consuming a daily vitamin, I just gave up and decided my body wasn’t cut out for taking vitamins. I figured my health would be better without that daily nauseous feeling. That was in 2013. Fast forward two years later and I was pregnant with our daughter.

Other moms told me I should take a pre-natal vitamin and my midwife confirmed this at my earliest appointment. While I wanted what was best for my baby, I also somewhat, begrudgingly went vitamin shopping again. I knew nausea was a common pregnancy symptom so at the end of the day I guess it didn’t matter if the baby or the vitamin was making me sick again – it was going to happen!

Until it didn’t. I ended up purchasing Nature Made Prenatal MultiVitamins and they didn’t make me sick. Another option you can try if vitamins are making you sick, and you aren’t a woman or don’t want to take a prenatal vitamin, is to cut your daily vitamin in half.

This can reduce the iron content to a level that won’t upset the stomach. I later found this out and would have tried it sooner had I known.

Should I Stop Taking Multivitamins?

Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin

What Vitamins Don’t Make Me Sick

I’ve never compared exact iron amounts in this new vitamin to the old, but for some reason the amount in this vitamin does not upset my stomach. I’ve actually continued to take this same vitamin daily now for more than eight years.

Pregnant or not – I’ve decided I’d rather take a vitamin that doesn’t make me sick than to try testing the waters again with any other brand or a “regular women’s vitamin.” Ironically around the same time I had stopped taking my daily multivitamin I had blood work done and was found to be deficient in Vitamin D.

This is a common and known problem where I live according to my family doctor, as it’s very cloudy and the winter is long in Cleveland, Ohio and most people do not get outdoors enough in the winter here to gain natural Vitamin D from the sun. Another common source of Vitamin D is from milk.

I supplemented with 1,000 IUs of Nature Made Vitamin D daily for many years after that blood work came back showing my deficiency. Then in 2018, I had my blood work done again and my Vitamin D levels were normal – I had not been taking Vitamin D for many months prior.

This gave me the reassurance I was now getting enough Vitamin D from my diet and the sun and no longer required supplementation. I’ve retested over the years and today still do not need to take Vitamin D supplements.

Prenatal Vitamins

At the time I had run out of Vitamin D and frankly hadn’t gotten around to buying more. Today, in 2024 I now do not take a Vitamin D supplement. I do make a more conscious decision to get out in the sun in the winter when I can and will try to walk our rescue dog Lulu on those days in particular.

I 100% believe the winter walking has helped my Vitamin D levels, and also improvements to my own diet. Today I take my daily multivitamin, sometimes Grapeseed Oil Extract and Zinc, especially during the cold and flu season. I have also dabbled with Iodine and Vitamin C supplements although not long-term.

And I also take fish oil supplements for eye health. I’m allergic to fish so I struggle to get enough of those healthy Omega 3’s that are good for eye health. I have tried Nature Made Adult Fish Oil Gummies and also their soft gels and I prefer the soft gels.

Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin
Do You Eat Healthy “Enough”?

Looking back, when my doctor asked if I ate healthy, I said “yes.” There was no further discussion beyond that, except for a mention that I should be eating fruits and vegetables. Well honestly I don’t think I was eating healthy enough. Was I eating cups of kale and red beets every day? No.

How would I have the proper nutrients in my body that would allow me to not have to take a multivitamin? I have no idea. For a long time I thought I was healthy because I avoided fast food, bacon, mayonnaise and a lot of the foods most Americans love and eat much too often.

For so long I’ve followed that old pyramid plan released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yes, I realize the pyramid is outdated today but it’s what I was taught and grew up with. As an adult I learned about calories, fat and started to gain a better idea of which parts of the pyramid were better or worse.

Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin
Learning About Food Nutrition

For example, I could consume nuts, but I learned almonds pack less calories and more nutritional punch than peanuts. I started to try new fruits and vegetables. I grew up in a meat and potatoes household. There are many fruits and vegetables I have now tried as an adult that I never had as a child.

Subscribing to an organic CSA has also helped tremendously in this area! In fact, I don’t think I knew what kale was until well after graduating from college. I think I had a wonderful foundation as a child and young adult for diet.

But I think I can do a lot better. Over the years I have improved on this by continuing to subscribe to a CSA and growing more variety in my home garden. I have tried both Murray Hill Farm CSA and most recently Fair View Meadow Farm CSA. Both have been great.

Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin
When to Take a Multivitamin

To add to this, the frequency of cancer diagnosis and other diseases is alarming. And maybe even more concerning to me, all the genetic modification, pesticide use and other questionable practices surrounding mainstream food growth and preparation and distribution.

In fact these food practices are a reason why many doctors today are advising to take a multivitamin. Although there are also some advising not to take a vitamin.

For some the theory is that an apple grown in 1900 would have packed way more nutritional punch and contain fewer pesticides than today’s conventional apples. Soil has been depleted as well. These are some of the reasons many are turning to organic produce. This is also why I choose to grow an organic garden.

What Happens if You Stop Taking Multivitamins?

Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin

In Summary

No one knows what their future may hold in terms of health or diagnosis, however, we do have a choice every day in how we eat and how we move our bodies. In this case, vitamins make me sick and this is why I stopped taking my multivitamin.

Right now, as of today in my vitamin journey, each day is not perfect and so for the days I miss eating kale and red beets I feel better taking a multivitamin. For me, right now, the benefit of the vitamin outweighs the risk of not taking it.

Do you take a multivitamin? Why or why not?

11 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin Pill”

  1. Oh, this is interesting, thank you! I actually just ordered a prenatal vitamin, as my husband & I are hoping to have kids in the next year or so, but I’m worried about it because in the past, vitamins have made my stomach really upset. Guess we’ll see…

  2. I do take a multivitamin about 5 days a week. Not sure why…I do eat plenty of fruits and veggies each day. I also take vitamin c each day as I’m around a lot of kids and it seems at least 1 is sick each week.

    Do your fish oil gummies leave you with fish burps at all? I took fish oil for about two weeks (and they were supposed to be burp free) and got tired of them.

  3. How do the gummies taste? I tried fish oil capsules and they gave me fish burps that literally made me gag (I don’t like fish).

    I had that problem with vitamins before, but I switched to Women’s One Food Based Multivitamin (bought at Natures Bin in Lakewood) that says it is “Gentle on the Stomach” I have had no problems.

    • They are fruit-flavored. Taste like a normal gummy bear or what not. No fish flavor. Thanks for sharing about the stomach-friendly multivitamin you found!

  4. I have had the same problem with getting an upset stomach if I don’t take food with my multivitamin. I switched brands and it seemed to help. I think it does make a difference especially with the iron and Vitamin D for me because I can note a decrease in energy if I quit taking it for a few days. Must be that correlation between running and low iron.

  5. Everytime I go to the doctor I have to do a bunch of crazy blood tests and my tests always come back really good. Which is awesome because I usually eat mostly cereal and don’t take vitamins.
    However, I started taking a womens gummy multi vitamin lately. It’s my excuse to eat gummy candy. I feel exactly the same but hopefully it’s doing something in the long run.
    I’ve heard a lot of people say they get sick from taking iron. You are supposed to start with really small doses and work up to larger ones. Only reason I know this is becuase runners are known to have really low iron and take a seperate iron supplement. My iron is always fine so I don’t have to worry about it.

    • I think cereals are usually vitamin fortified so that has probably helped you.

      My multivitamin had 100% daily dose of iron. Apparently the normal, recommended amount is too much for me.

  6. Fish oil gummies sound disgusting. I’m sure they aren’t fish oil flavored, but that was the first thing that sprung to mind! Anyways, I don’t take a multivitamin (except pre-natal when I was pregnant) because most of the time they seem to just give you expensive pee. Also, too much of certain vitamins and minerals is also bad for you. I think people don’t realize that it’s a balance. I would take specific vitamins if I had a deficiency, but I don’t.

    • I probably should have added the gummies are fruit-flavored! I actually don’t even eat fish, due to what I believe is an allergy, but that’s another story.


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