Harsh Truth: Vitamins May Not Do Anything for Your Health

If you judged by sheer amount of advertising and options in the grocery store, you’d think multivitamins were the cure for every ill. There are vitamins for kids, adults, girls, boys, men, women and seniors. Whatever your ill may be, taking a daily vitamin (or four) will cure it.

Or at least that’s what we’ve been told for years, which has resulted in vitamins becoming a multi-million dollar industry. However, it seems that our faith in vitamins as both a cure-all and preventative medicine may have been misguided. Some are now saying that multivitamins are not nearly as beneficial as previously thought.

Though formerly touted as a key part of a healthy regimen, an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine is refuting those claims. In fact, the authors even suggest that supplements don’t have a justifiable use and should be avoided.

They caution vitamins could be harmful due to their high dosage amounts. By taking a daily vitamin, you may ingest far more vitamins than your body really needs. Increased instances of beta carotene, vitamin E and vitamin A may increase chances of death, which is the opposite of what we want vitamins to do.

When looking at a common bottle of vitamins for adults, you’ll find that they contain 200 percent of your daily dose of vitamin D, 133 percent of the recommended amount of vitamin E, 167 percent of you daily dose of vitamin B12. Call me crazy, but that seems excessive when you can find those in foods you eat every day.

There are still some benefits to taking a daily vitamin. For example, it’s still suggested that pregnant women take folic acid supplements. Beyond that, it may only be necessary for people who don’t get all needed vitamins and minerals from their diet to take a daily multivitamin.

If you’re concerned about your vitamin and supplement intake, consult with your doctor. If you have a well-balanced diet, it’s possible that you are getting all the nutrients you need. If not, your doctor can recommend exactly which supplements you require to be your healthiest.

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126 comments

Lynn C.
Lynn C.2 years ago

noted

Karen Whitworth
Karen Whitworth2 years ago

I don't agree with some of the assertions of this article. Some of us do indeed need to take vitamins, especially if we have some diseases that deplete certain vitamins. I have been tested and shown to be very low in vit D, and I now take between 1,000 to 2,000 mg every day. Many of us that live in the Northern Hemisphere should all be taking Vit D in the winter and fall months, because of reduced sunshine. Doctors don't know much about nutrition as they only take a 2hr course on it in their studies, they do however, know lots about prescribing drugs.

Carolyn Cornie
Carolyn Cornie2 years ago

From Katie P: You said: "Quality food, if possible organic, wheat grass, teas and so many alternative ways out there to help us keep healthy."

Why is it that people think that organic foods are more healthy? All it means is that they are
insecticide free. Ditto for gluten: Gluten-free is essential for those with Crohn's/Celiac
disease. Gluten-free diets are NOT healthier they are LESS healthy because of all the
B vitamins, etc. that they do not ingest. Gluten-Free has become a fad for most.

Charli S.
Charlotte S.2 years ago

Are we speaking about man made vitamins or synthetic? Vitamins we get from foods naturally or pills? The truth is that NO ONE really knows what every person needs and even if we all need the same things. I suffer from Chronic Pain. CP depletes your vitamin D levels and other vitamin levels. Depending on who funds the study the outcome may be very different. We need more unbiased studies.

Before doing anything make sure you do lots of research. Especially if you have any sort of chronic illness or disease. And don't depend on your doctor knowing too much, most get very little in the way of holistic medicine/treatment.

Don Buck
Don Buck2 years ago

Vitamins are the devil and I proved it, I swallowed my whole multiv bottle of pills twice now and one of the times I felt a little tired afterward. Yeah nice try article, Ive heard of exactly zero people ever being affected in a bad way by vitamins. I eat tons of them and feel awesome and haven't been to a doctor in 20 years.

Carolyn Cornie
Carolyn Cornie2 years ago

9:11pm PST on Dec 27, 2013
Donnie H: What is your source for the study that showed that our food is not as healthy as
it used to be?

Which specific brand of Vitamins/Supplements did they use in this study? You are criticizing
its use so you must know what it is. If it is an accurate study it would require the use
of just one brand... My profession is in the Medical field and my husband serves on the
Board of a very large health system. Doctors and all medical personnel discuss how they can cure people or at least make them better. It is but your own opinion that medical people
spew out ''distortions''. I would say instead that what you have stated here is a ''distortion''.

There are a good many unknowledgable people such as yourself who have been spewing lies about how the medical field is only interested in making money. There may be some...but
you and others put all of them in the same pot with your erroneous accusations.

It has been a fact for a very long time that most of the vitamins we take are actually overload and go right down the drain. If one eats enough vegetables and fruit and a source of
iron and B vitamins, the supplements are a total waste and like articles have said for
decades, could actually cause harm. The diet of some folks is so poor that they do need
the vitamin/supplements. Most of us need Vit D supplements. But what this study is trying to tell you is to be aware of the fallacy that swallowing handfuls of vitamin/supplements...whet

Carolyn Cornie
Carolyn Cornie2 years ago

Donnie H: What is your source for the study that showed that our food is not as healthy as
it used to be?

Which specific brand of Vitamins/Supplements did they use in this study? You are criticizing
its use so you must know what it is. If it is an accurate study it would require the use
of just one brand... My profession is in the Medical field and my husband serves on the
Board of a very large health system. Doctors and all medical personnel discuss how they can cure people or at least make them better. It is but your own opinion that medical people
spew out ''distortions''. I would say instead that what you have stated here is a ''distortion''.

There are a good many unknowledgable people such as yourself who have been spewing lies about how the medical field is only interested in making money. There may be some...but
you and others put all of them in the same pot with your erroneous accusations.

It has been a fact for a very long time that most of the vitamins we take are actually overload and go right down the drain. If one eats enough vegetables and fruit and a source of
iron and B vitamins, the supplements are a total waste and like articles have said for
decades, could actually cause harm. The diet of some folks is so poor that they do need
the vitamin/supplements. But what this study is trying to tell you is to be aware of the
fallacy that swallowing handfuls of vitamin/supplements...whether bought at KMart or
Whole Foods....i

Kati P.
Kathy P.2 years ago

Enlightening! Coming from a Greek island where people never took vitamins and still don't but live to be hundred, I never bought the idea of vitamins. Quality food, if possible organic, wheat grass, teas and so many alternative ways out there to help us keep healthy. I read so much about them and I got rather confused so I decided to abstain....

Olga Troyan
Olga Troyan2 years ago

Complex preparation which I take contains some vitamins and minerals in lower doses (20-80% of daily norm) and allows to avoid overdose. It's also recommended not to take vitamins all the time and take breaks between courses. Personally, I only feel better, when I take them.

Winn Adams
Winnie Adams2 years ago

Thanks