How Effective are Vitamin Supplements Really?

Vitamin Supplements

Vitamins are essential for life and we, humans need 13 vitamins to survive. One in three Americans take a multivitamin or any other vitamin regularly. Multivitamins are a multi-billion dollar business but research reveals that taking those vitamin supplements is not as effective as you might think.

Of course, there are some studies showing the effectiveness of using a multivitamin, but new evidence shows that it will do more harm than good. We all know that our body needs nutrients to function properly, but nutrients in supplements are in no way replace the nutrients in a food.

Research Varies

So how effective are vitamin supplements, really?  Johns Hopkins researchers reviewed three studies and they found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for cancer and heart disease, mental declines and also studied between the two groups, one group who took supplements and the other with no supplements, found that the rates of heart attacks, heart surgeries and deaths are similar.

One of the professors of nutrition at the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Health and Human Development, that food provide many bio-active compounds and dietary factors that typically aren’t found in supplements. Additional components such as fiber and other properties present in a food can help fight cancer and heart disease.

Supplements or Multivitamins may help in rare cases only if you have done well with your eating habits. If you are taking a healthy, well-balanced diet and still find deficient in some areas, then you can opt for a supplement or any other vitamin and that too by consulting a physician.

Most of the multivitamins that are on sale are synthetic. Synthetic vitamins may lead to harmful side-effects and they develop problems with energy metabolism. Taking multivitamins or supplements can help you only if it is a non-synthetic and whole-food based vitamins. Whole-food vitamins are those vitamins which are produced from natural food sources, with no synthetic vitamins.Instead of wasting your money on multivitamins, it is better to utilize that amount for buying lot of natural fruits and vegetables.

Some Groups Require Them

However, some groups of people may require vitamins under the physician suggestion. They are:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who are unable to take every food due to allergies or due to eating disorders
  • Vitamin D for people who are less exposed to the sunlight • Sports persons who undergo intense training

The best way to get all the nutrients for your body is to have a healthy and balanced food and if necessary, take only non-synthetic vitamins under the consultation of a physician. Multivitamins may be the supplement for the food but it never be the replacement.