Source: The Food Rush
Vitamin sales approach $28 billion annually and nearly half of all Americans take some form of multivitamin. Multivitamins are marketed based on claims they boost health and wellness in specific ways, such as prolonging life. Some believe that multivitamins can improve health and make up for poor eating habits. Multivitamins are not regulated by the FDA and their nutrient composition varies by brand and product.
While some people (e.g. aging adults at risk for osteoporosis and pregnant woman) may benefit from vitamins, most people living in developed nations eating a balanced diet get little to no benefit from daily multivitamins. Large quantities of vitamins can actually be harmful. High daily intake (known as a megadose) of Vitamin A can increase risk of birth defects and osteoporosis. High intake of Vitamin C pills can increase risk of kidney stones.
Nutrition experts say money might be better spent on nutrient-packed foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. These whole foods have other health benefits such as fiber and likely have benefits that remain unmeasured. Current studies show that multivitamins do not reduce risk for heart disease, cancer, or mental decline.
“The Benefits of Vitamin Supplements.” Harvard Health, Harvard Health Publishing, www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/the-benefits-of-vitamin-supplements.
Cohut, Maria. “Can a Vitamin Combo Prolong Your Life?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 18 Oct. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323373.php
“Is There Really Any Benefit to Multivitamins?” Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/is-there-really-any-benefit-to-multivitamins.
Tinnesand, Michael. “Are Vitamin Supplements Necessary?” American Chemical Society, American Chemical Society, Jan. 2018, www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/past-issues/2017-2018/december2017/vitamin-supplements.html.