I already take a multi. Do I get everything I need from that?
Sadly, most likely not. Multi-vitamins are what I like to call your machine gun. Your body requires a ton of nutrients in order to function properly. The word vitamin itself means required for life. So with all of the nutrients required for optimal health you need to choose your ‘arsenal’ carefully. You can buy a bunch of different pistols and maybe a few riffles, all high quality and great for accuracy. The problem is if you want to attack every facet you are better off using a machine gun. Sure we can argue that the accuracy is not the same as a single shot pistol (1 vitamin or mineral), and that a pistol will beat a machine gun in an accuracy contest.
But enough gun talk, the fact of the matter is you most likely require both, as accuracy and coverage are not mutually exclusive.
When the governing bodies were deciding on the RDA (recommended daily allowance) it was during World War II, and times were tough, soldiers needed to survive awful conditions with minimal food and nutrients. Born from this was the RDA, a minimum requirement to keep an already healthy soldier from dying. That’s it, the minimum required to ‘not die’ if you are already healthy. There are some important words in there if you read it again. We are basing the quantity of nutrients we intake on a number developed to keep someone from dying. Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to teeter on the edge of death, I want to be well, well above that line.