It's been a few years now since I stopped taking any kind of multi-vitamin or mineral supplement. Even through my pregnancy with my son, I did not take the pre-natal vitamins recommended by the midwife. Instead, I chose to take whole foods supplements. I had an incredibly healthy pregnancy and healthy child, not once dealing with any kind of blood pressure, swelling, or anemia issues.
But, why? Why choose whole food supplements over commercial multivitamins?
Organicconsumers.org has a very helpful Q & A session regarding this topic that you can read HERE.
Here are two of the questions and answers I found to be very helpful:
"Are certain synthetic ingredients worse than others?
Yes. Some vitamins are water soluble, so the flush out of the body quite easily. Other vitamins are fat soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K. Because they are soluble in fat (lipids), these vitamins tend to build-up in the body's fat tissues, fat deposits, and liver. This storage capability makes the fat-soluble vitamins potentially toxic when consuming high-dose synthetic versions of these vitamins, rather than food-based vitamins that the body knows how to metabolize. Care should be exercised when taking the fat-soluble vitamins, and it is recommended that you avoid the synthetic forms of these vitamins whenever possible.
Also many people are allergic to the chemicals used as a base for synthetic vitamins. Some are toxic, including nicotine, coal tars and alloxal. Avoid toxic ingredients such as magnesium stearate or stearic acid (toxic flowing agents), silicon dioxide (common sand used as an expensive filler that makes the bottle weigh more with the hope that the uneducated consumer will equate weight with higher quality), natural flavors (a common term for toxic MSG used to disguise bland tastes), methylcellulose, carnauba wax, titanium dioxide, and many more. If you are not sure of what you are taking, do not take it! These toxic chemical agents can create significant health problems when consumed over time. The OCA will be posting a detailed list of some of the most problematic ingredients."
The Mayo Clinic also has helpful information regarding this issue: