Most Vitamin Pills Are Useless, But Here Are The Ones You Should Take (2023)

Sounds like simple, obvious advice: eat your veggies, get some exercise, and of course, take yourvitamins.the no.

Decades of research have failed to find any substantial evidence that vitamins and supplements do any significant good.

In fact, recent studies point in the opposite direction, finding that certain vitaminsit might be bad for you.

Several were linked toan increase in certain types of cancer, for example, while others were linked to aincreased risk of kidney stones.

And a large new study released on Wednesday suggests that despite this growing awareness, AmericansPill-taking habits have basically stayed the same for the past decade..

Here are the vitamins and supplements to take and which to avoid:

Multivitamins - Avoid these - you can get all you need from a balanced diet.

For decades, multivitamins were considered essential for overall health.VitaminC for "boosting your immune system", Vitamin A for protecting your eyesight, Vitamin B for keeping you energized.

Not only do you get these ingredients from the foods you eat, but studies suggest that consuming too much of them can cause harm.

(Video) Most vitamins are useless, but here are the ones you should take

A big2011 studyof nearly 39,000 older women over age 25 found that women who took them long-term actually had a higher overall risk of death than those who didn't.

Vitamin D: Take: Helps keep bones strong and is hard to get from food.

Vitamin D is not present in most of the foods we eat, but it is acritical ingredientwhich keeps our bones strong by helping us absorb calcium.

catching the sunlighthelps our bodies producetoo, but it can be difficult to get enough in the winter. Severalrecentto studyassessmentsfound that people who took daily vitamin D supplements lived longer, on average, than those who didn't.

Antioxidants – Avoid – An excess of them has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, and you can eat berries instead.

Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants found abundantly in many fruits, especially berries and vegetables, and have been promoted for their purported ability to protect againstCancer.

But studies suggest that when taken in excess, antioxidantsit can actually be harmful. Alarge long-term studyof men who smoked found that those who took vitamin A regularly were more likely to develop lung cancer than those who didn't smoke.

it is a2007 reviewof trials of several different types of antioxidant supplements put it this way: "Treatment with beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality."

Vitamin C: avoid; it probably won't help you get over your cold, and you can eat citrus fruits.

The vitamin C hype that started witha suggestion by chemist Linus Pauling made in the 1970sand peaked with Airborne and Emergen-C, it's just that: hype.

To studyafterto studydemonstrated that vitamin C does little or nothing to prevent the common cold. In addition, megadoses of 2000 milligrams or more mayincrease the risk of painful kidney stones.

(Video) Most vitamins are useless, but here are the ones you should take

So get your vitamin C from your food. Strawberries are full of nutrients.

Vitamin B3: Skip and have salmon, tuna or beets.

For years, vitamin B3 has been promoted to treat everything fromAlzheimerto heart disease. But recent studies haveasked for an endto the excessive prescription ofnourishing.

Abig study of 2014of more than 25,000 people with heart disease found that giving people prolonged doses of vitamin B3 to raise their levels of "good" cholesterol, or HDL, did not reduce the incidence of heart attacks, strokes or deaths.

Also, people in the study who took B3 supplements were more likely than those who took a placebo to develop infections, liver problems and internal bleeding.

Probiotics: Avoid: Science is not yet advanced enough for them to have any significant benefit, and you can eat yogurt instead.

Probiotics, expensive bacterial supplements that can cost upwards of $1 per pill but are naturally found in smaller amounts in yogurt and other fermented foods, have become big business with a market of about$23.1 billionem 2012.

The idea behind them is simple: to support the trillions of bacteria that thrive in our gut and that we know play crucial roles in regulating our health.

But putting this idea into practice has been a little more complicated.

Until now, the effects of probiotics have been all over the place. sometimes they helpSometimes no. So instead of paying for a pill that promises to be a panacea, have a parfait.

Zinc: Take it, it's one of the only ingredients linked to reducing a cold.

(Video) Most vitamins are useless, but here are the ones you should take

Unlike vitamin C, which studies show likely does nothing to prevent or treat the common cold, zinc may actually be worth your while. the ore looksinterfere with rhinovirus replication, the insects that cause the common cold.

on aReview of studies from 2011Of the people who got sick recently, the researchers looked at those who started taking zinc and compared them with those who simply took a placebo. Those who took zinc had shorter colds and less severe symptoms.

Vitamin E: Avoid: Too much has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, and you can eat spinach instead.

The antioxidant vitamin E has become popular for its purported ability to protect against cancer. but onebig study of 2011of nearly 36,000 men found that the risk of prostate cancer was actually higher among men taking vitamin E compared to men taking a placebo.

it is a2005 studyassociated high doses of vitamin E with an overall increased risk of death. So if you're looking for more vitamin E, make yourself a fresh spinach salad and skip the pill. Dark green vegetables like spinach are rich in this stuff.

Folic acid: Take if you are pregnant or want to become pregnant.

Folic acid is a B vitamin that our body uses to make new cells.

HeThe National Institutes of Health recommendwomen who are pregnant or who wish to become pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily because their bodies require more of this essential nutrient when pregnant with a growing fetus.

What is more,several grande studiesassociated folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy with reduced rates ofneural tube defects, serious and life-threatening birth defects of the baby's brain, spine, or spinal cord.

An earlier version of this article was published in October 2016.

This article was originally posted byBusiness Insider.

(Video) Most vitamins are useless, but here are the ones you should take

More from Business Insider:


Do you really need vitamin pills? ›

Most people do not need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium and vitamin C, are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts to work properly.

Are vitamin pills a waste of money? ›

BOSTON - More than half of American adults have used at least one vitamin supplement in the past month, but a federal panel of health experts suggests they may be wasting their time and money. This includes multivitamins.

Do any vitamins actually work? ›

A 2021 review conducted by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force analyzing the results of 84 vitamin and mineral supplement trials determined that taking a multivitamin provides little to no benefit in preventing heart disease and cancer, for instance.

Why is taking vitamin supplements not recommended? ›

Taking vitamin and mineral supplements is a short-term measure. The long-term use of some high-dose supplements can lead to symptoms of toxicity. If you feel that you could be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals, it may be better to look at changing your diet and lifestyle rather than reaching for supplements.

What is the one supplement everyone should take? ›


A good quality multivitamin is one of the most important supplements for optimal health. According to the CDC, the vast majority of Americans are not able to meet their nutrient needs by diet alone.

Is it good to take a multivitamin everyday? ›

"It may seem like common sense to be taking multivitamins, but there actually isn't much evidence that a daily cocktail of essential vitamins and minerals actually delivers what you expect." Most studies have found no significant benefit from taking a daily multivitamin to protect the brain or heart or prevent cancer.

What happens if you don't take vitamins? ›

There are now strong links between low intakes of particular nutrients and the risk of developing chronic disease including some cancers, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression. During pregnancy, insufficient nutrient intake can have long-term health implications for the health of the child.

Is it OK to take vitamin supplements every day? ›

Most supplements are safe to take, but there are exceptions. For example: High doses of beta carotene have been linked to a greater risk of lung cancer in smokers. Extra calcium and vitamin D may increase the risk of kidney stones.


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