Many people like the concept of a multivitamin. It seems like a good idea to take a pill to make up for any nutritional gaps in one’s diet. But does it actually do your body any good?
One 2011 study looked at the multivitamin use and health issues of 182,099 participants over the course of three years. They found no difference in cancer risk, heart disease, or mortality between the persons who used multivitamins and those who didn’t.
On the other hand, some studies have found that people who use multivitamins have lower rates of disease. Another study from 2011 found that breast cancer patients who took a multivitamin after treatment had higher survival rates. These studies also find that people who take multivitamins tend to eat more plant foods and exercise, so it can be hard to tell if the vitamin is adding any additional benefit.
Based on the current research, it appears that a multivitamin does no visible harm or good. Some people with specific health needs may benefit from a vitamin or herbal supplement. It’s important to discuss supplements with a Nutritionist, Dietitian, Naturopathic Doctor, Herbalist, or Pharmacist before trying anything new. For the most part, your dollars will be better spent on wholesome fresh foods instead of pills!