Do multivitamins work? Study concludes supplements a ‘waste of money’ for most people

CHICAGO — Vitamins and supplements that countless people take to improve their health are just a waste of money, a new study contends. Researchers from Northwestern University say their health benefits are mainly in the mind and some may even do more harm than good.

According to the CDC, nearly six in 10 Americans regularly took dietary supplements in 2018. Last year, Americans spent nearly $50 billion on vitamins and supplements. However, the research team says there’s no “magic set of pills to keep you healthy.” Instead, diet and exercise are still the key to good health.

“Patients ask all the time, ‘What supplements should I be taking?’” says lead author Dr. Jeffrey Linder from Northwestern University in a media release. “They’re wasting money and focus thinking there has to be a magic set of pills that will keep them healthy when we should all be following the evidence-based practices of eating healthy and exercising,”

Certain supplements could cause cancer, not prevent it

Multivitamin tablets are particularly popular as they contain a mix of a dozen or so vital nutrients. The Health Food Manufacturers’ Association says more than a third of people feel they do not get all they need through their diet.

However, the systematic review of 84 studies found “insufficient evidence” that taking multivitamins, paired, or single supplements prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. A team from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent panel of experts that makes evidence-based recommendations, carried out that review.

READ: 5 Studies That Suggest Multivitamins Are Not Improving Your Health

“The task force is not saying ‘don’t take multivitamins,’ but there’s this idea that if these were really good for you, we’d know by now,” Linder explains.

They specifically advise against taking beta-carotene supplements because of a possible increased risk of lung cancer.

“The harm is that talking with patients about supplements during the very limited time we get to see them, we’re missing out on counseling about how to really reduce cardiovascular risks, like through exercise or smoking cessation,” the study author continues.

Multivitamins don’t have everything found in your fruit and vegetables

Writing in JAMA, Dr. Linder and colleagues say more than half of American adults take vitamins and supplements, with their popularity projected to increase significantly over the next decade. Eating fruits and vegetables leads to decreased cardiovascular disease and cancer risk, according to the team.

READ: Taking These Supplements Can Lower Risk Of Developing Autoimmune Diseases

So, it is reasonable to think key vitamins and minerals could be extracted and packaged into a pill – saving trouble and expense of maintaining a balanced diet. Unfortunately, researchers explain that whole fruits and vegetables contain a mixture of vitamins, plant chemicals, fiber, and other nutrients that probably combine to boost your health.

Micronutrients in isolation may act differently in the body than when naturally packaged with a host of other dietary components. Dr. Linder notes individuals who have a vitamin deficiency can still benefit from taking dietary supplements such as calcium and vitamin D. Previous studies have shown that they can prevent fractures and falls in older adults.

The revised guidelines do not apply to women who are pregnant or planning to start a family.

“Pregnant individuals should keep in mind that these guidelines don’t apply to them,” says co-author Dr. Natalie Cameron, an instructor of general internal medicine at Northwestern.

READ: 6 Amazing Benefits From Taking Fish Oil Supplements

“Certain vitamins, such as folic acid, are essential for pregnant women to support healthy fetal development. The most common way to meet these needs is to take a prenatal vitamin. More data is needed to understand how specific vitamin supplementation may modify risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and cardiovascular complications during pregnancy.”

Overcoming the cost of eating healthy

Recent research has found most women in the U.S. have poor heart health prior to becoming pregnant. Dr. Cameron says discussing vitamin supplementation and optimizing cardiovascular health prior to pregnancy is an important component of pre-natal care. However, healthy eating can be a challenge when U.S. food manufacturers focus on processed products packed with fat, sugar, and salt.

“To adopt a healthy diet and exercise more, that’s easier said than done, especially among lower-income Americans,” notes co-author Dr. Jenny Jia. “Healthy food is expensive, and people don’t always have the means to find environments to exercise—maybe it’s unsafe outdoors or they can’t afford a facility. So, what can we do to try to make it easier and help support healthier decisions?”

READ: Power Of Positivity: Health Benefits Of Multivitamins ‘May All Be In The Mind’

Dr. Jia has been working with charitable food pantries and banks that supply free groceries to help people pick healthier choices and encourage donors to provide healthier options or money.

South West News Service writer Mark Waghorn contributed to this report.


  1. No magic pill in vitamins, and in fact it’s so unregulated you have to take the word of the manufactures that the vitamin contains what it says it contains in the amount that is stated.
    I am of the opinion that it probably does not do much good, but it probably won’t hurt you either.
    In most vitamins its even unclear if they don’t simply pass through with little absorption. But even placebos can help people think healthy results so maybe they do some good just not in the way expected. It’s like anything you take whether that be a prescribed drug or a vitamin. Ask yourself how does it improve or hurt your health and lifestyle compared to before? If you expect a vitamin to replace eating healthy, you’re a fool. It won’t replace eating healthy meals and taking in vitamins through those healthy foods. If vitamins were the answer, then we would be a lot healthier considering how many take them and we are not.

  2. I feel better when I take natural vitamins , herbal and minerals. Supplements
    My body feels better over all .
    Much better than when I haven’t taken supplement.
    My mood improves , my skin looks healthier. My body doesn’t hurt I don’t have body pain when I add supplement to my diet. I have had blood work done and my body is working like it’s suppose to . People don’t get all the nutrients from food they need especially with what is being put in our food .
    Natural remedies for health work and do make your body function better . I know that for a fact because how my body feels when taking natural supplements and how my body feels when I’ve slack off on taking natural supplements. They do work !

  3. Are these the same people who are saying children should be given the mRNA covid vaccine?

    They recommend this even though they know that the covid mortality rate for children under eighteen is approximately one in 68,000. They do this not knowing what long term effects of the vaccine might be. They do this even though they know more children die from pneumonia than from covid.

    I have not heard of anyone who takes supplements because they think they can replace a healthy diet.

    If supplements help keep people healthy, people will need fewer prescriptions, i.e. the profit connection between the studies and the pharmaceutical companies.

  4. There’s a lot of “maybe” and “probably” in this study’s “findings”. The only real finding I could find was that the study found no evidence that taking supplements prevented cardiovascular disease or cancer, which is not the only benefit people seek in taking multivitamins and/or supplements. Then they offer some conjecture, reasoning that they are a waste of time and money because they “probably” don’t even work properly on their own outside of some magical synergy provided by a natural source. Except: “Dr. Linder notes individuals who have a vitamin deficiency can still benefit from taking dietary supplements such as calcium and vitamin D. Previous studies have shown that they can prevent fractures and falls in older adults.” And “Certain vitamins, such as folic acid, are essential for pregnant women to support healthy fetal development.” Hm. Well, that’s confusing. Seems to be an agenda here, and it seems that the goal is to convince us that we are too stupid to care for ourselves and must instead rely on the advice of our wealthy and powerful betters. As if they care. Pass.

  5. I’m 77 and my wife 71. We’ve been free of sickness and diseases for most of our lives. We did not get the mRNA jabs, and CO19 doesn’t bother us even though I think we did get it once, very mild, just a bit of headache and running nose that disappeared quickly thanks to a 12-mg IVM tablet. Do we take supplements? You bet!

  6. Next time a Dr. tries debunking non “traditional” health, ask them as an American if they think they are smarter than the rest of the entire planet including Asians, Europeans, Indians. Then ask when they first became Jingoist, in Med School, before or after.

  7. Remember this is the same Allopathic drug, cut, burn, poison & radiate industry whose “Doctors” used to sell their preference in CIGARETTES!

  8. Supplements=Placebo effect. It’s their money, let them spend it how they will.

    The industry, by in large, is analogous to the people who feel like they are doing some good by “tithing” hard earned money to support a television evangelist, when in fact all they are doing is lining the pockets of the Jimmy Bakers of this world. They feel better, but the people at the top of the scheme are wealthy beyond belief.

  9. Who are these wonderful people who are so worried we might spend a few dollars a month on supplements? They are the same wonderful people who were unable to deal with a very delicate virus that killed millions of people. And, they are worried about a few dollars a month for vitamins in a nation which spends an average of 30,000 dollars a year on health care for people over 65, which produces sick old people who can barely walk.

    For those who are products of the modern public school system, that is 2500 dollars a month, but we gotta’ stop that terrible waste of 5 bucks a month.

  10. So, multivitamins are worthless, eh? Except if you’re pregnant. They’re OK then. Oh, and my doctor prescribed heavy duty Vitamin D, so that’s OK. My mother’s doctor prescribed her heavy duty potassium, so that’s OK. I guess they’re worthless unless you spend $200 to see a doctor so they can prescribe individual vitamins that cost 10x more than a bottle of multivitamins. I see how it works.

    Between this nonsense and the pandemic fraud, I don’t have a lot of faith in, or respect for, doctors any longer.

  11. I can’t believe the myth of healthy food being expensive is being perpetuated by a doctor. If anything, healthy food costs less. It just requires more effort. We eat for very low cost and we do it by avoiding processed foods. Fresh fruit and vegetables are not expensive. Canned beans are still relatively healthy as are most frozen vegetables.

  12. I take vit D because tests by my doctor showed that I’m low. Other than that, I don’t see the point of taking multiple vitamins or these ‘fruits and veggies in a capsule’ as much as their marketing makes it sound wonderful for your health. Do I eat ‘healthy’? No, but I eat in moderation. I have maintained the same weight for the last 50 years. IMO Genetics trump everything else.

  13. I suspect that most people who take supplements are intelligent enough to know that such isn’t a substitute for proper diet and exercise. The article seemed rather condescending.

  14. I will admit that I’ve been trying supplements for more than a year. I had Covid 2021, really severe. I also have asbestosis. I’ve been trying to find something to make living more comfortable. The supplements for energy, weight control, relief of muscular pain, none of the work, expensive olive oil, MCT, Blood flow supplements. I’ve spent a lot of money.

  15. We need to put things in perspective. The majority do not eat a healthy diet, much less the majority do not know what one looks like. With the consumption of “junk” food: refined white flour, high sugar content in foods, vegetables that are nor really fresh (they lose nutritional content: University of California studies show that vegetables can lose 15 to 55 percent of vitamin C, for instance, within a week. Some spinach can lose 90 percent within the first 24 hours after harvest). Consuming processed frozen food, deli meat, chips, and snacks with excess sugar and salt takes a toll on the body and rid the body of essential nutrients. Remember the RDA is the minimum recommended daily allowance. Most people lack vitamin D in their diet. Other examples of poor food quality is the addition of additives to our diet that has shown to deplete the body of vital vitamins and minerals. Artificial colorings, nitrates, high levels of Guar Gum (can has shown to cause obstruction of the esophagus or small intestine),and high fructose corn syrup, among others.

    An occasional cupcake will not harm you, but the constant consumption of junk food has shown to cause nutrient depletion and imbalance. With this in mind, I do not believe that the addition of multivitamins is a waste. What I do believe is that it is difficult to find the correct multivitamin that contains what it says it contains.

  16. No one has a nutritionally complete diet, especially with commercially grown foods. And I agree eating healthy, whole natural foods is best. But a quality multivitamin fills the gaps every diet has. A one-a-day multivitamin is useless but quality multivitamins will be 2-6 capsules/tablets daily. There are lots of these studies and all have major flaws. Big Pharma and government collusion is obvious after Covid so I don’t believe anything put out by them.

  17. While this could be true. I can argue for them.
    When I was on my Keto diet I would wake up with massive cramps in my legs at night.
    I never have this problem when I eat unrestricted.
    However, I started taking one a day tablet and my cramping stopped.
    So my theory is in certain cases they are beneficial.

    That’s the best source of vital nutrients – period! Lazy people are always seeking pills to make up for their lack of discipline. Eat clean and exercise, and then perhaps consider a supplement like vitamin D3 if you have a proven deficiency validated through some form of diagnostic testing. Some folks living in areas of low sun light might need this, and there are other examples of supplement value, but most dimwitted slugs eat like crap and pop vitamin pills, thinking that makes everything bad A-OK.

  19. I know for “ME’ personally, I NEED specific vitamin and mineral supplements. I also prefer to take the kind that are passed out of my body when not needed.
    I was thought to have hyperparathyroid disease. I had high calcium levels in my blood. But testing was done and my body was deficient in calcium (for one issue) and my blood had begun to extract it from my bones. I was in terrible pain everyday for a long time until I had the blood work confirming what was happening.
    It wasn’t long after I started taking a multivitamin mineral supplement, that my bones stop hurting. Shortly after that, , I was no longer walking with my cane and I was able to walk up and down my stairs.

    I do agree that too much of the world depends on vitamin and mineral supplements to make magic happen for them. This isn’t how it’s supposed to work, but there are those of us that need them.

    I also need iron supplements because another medical condition makes me bleed on a regular basis. (not menstruation) Without the iron supplement I have low levels of ferritin, although it shows it within normal range, I need mine a little higher in that range or I will be extremely tired all the time and continue fall asleep doing normal daily things.

    My final thought is, it was really stupid to put it out an article like this, especially with this title.

  20. Nonsense. The fact is pharmaceuticals started out out as way to refine, replicate & mass produce chemical compounds that knew were in various plants & herbs. Those medicinal compounds are still in those plants & can be very effective in treating common maladies. This is just another effort to discredit and/or regulate to death the supplement industry. I personally have benefited from studying & using medicinal herbs for over 40 years.

  21. So don’t take vitamins, but if you have any type of illness, are pregnant, older, or have underlying health issues, then we definitely take the vitamins. So what did this article accomplish??

  22. 1) The vitamin industry actually IS NOT big pharma….. Big pharma has plenty of its own problems

    The supplement industry suffers because its OVERWHELMING full of non-technical people.

    Like… literally people who don’t know jack sh*t about ANYTHING and may have even failed in multiple prior non-technical businesses before entering into a new one.

    2) The above statement INCLUDES the people who do the packaging and even some in the closely related “Natural Products” space, which thankfully is also involved in the extraction and isolation of raw materials used for APIs and pharmaceuticals

    The Natural Product industry only has slightly lower risk of fraud and grift because there is a high entry cost that tends to filter out the people with so much crazy they sweat it out.

    3) The handful of Technical people that ARE in the supplement space OVERWHELMINGLY skew toward the “lower value” technical skill end.

    Lots of Bachelors degrees
    Lots of Bachelors of ARTS
    Lots of Biochemist and Biology BAs….. yes, there are plenty of smart people, but statistically Bio BA and Biochem BA have a lower skill set, with a less complete chemical and physical understanding

    Of course, you could move to the forward end of the gaussian distribution and pluck a super smart ANYTHING out of ANY group.

    If you had to roll the dice and your options were Bio BA vs Bio BS vs Chem BA vs Chem BS vs that same distribution of MA/MS and finally full PhD…..

    Your odds of finding terrible outcomes are heavily weighted toward the first part of that list.

    4) related to the above:

    Among the higher skilled participants:

    you are a far more likely to find examples of “crazies” or people who hold unscientific or basically universally disputed beliefs on the subjects the espouse

    Very often their participation in this space is because they SIMPLY CANNOT FIND WORK ANYWHERE ELSE because they have a publicly ruined reputation due to their hardcore crazy

    5) Yes. This is a problem everywhere.


    All of it. You can correctly understand and believe that psychology and mental health, which involve consideration and respect for cultural norms. Totally true.

    So replace every nanogram of dried Bull Testicle with Placebo and continue calling it whatever

    But that ENTIRE TOP TO BOTTOM industry is only slightly better than HOMEOPATHY

    6) If you need me to explain why Homeopathy is the most insane BS that absolutely scraping-the bottom of the barrel….

    I won’t even bother. I’ll just agree when you try to argue that the world is flat and Democrats are lizards.

  23. These kind of studies and result are nothing new. The purpose of supplements is to supplement, not substitute. Their purpose is to prevent borderline and subclinical deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals. People in America and most of the rest of the world too who eat, especially if their diet and varied and even minimally balanced, are not going to suffer from a deficiency disease but that doesn’t mean they are not getting enough. In the American diet, certain deficiencies are possible, especially, a magnesium deficiency and also an inadequate intake of Vitamin C.

    My experience is anecdotal but individual experience always is. When I was a young guy I played some playground basketball just for recreation. When I took my vitamins, my stamina was a little better. It was not by a lot, but I did notice it. I’m not promoting alcohol consumption, but when I drank and took my vitamins, my hangovers were not as bad either.

    Into my late 20s, I used to get a horrific cold every years that lasted for six weeks. When I started taking large doses of Vitamin C, these stopped. Generally, since then, I have only gotten colds when I have neglected to take extra Vitamin C. The amount I need is only 500 mg per day, not some megadose.

    Again, studies cannot pick up the difference supplement use might make because they are too small to be dramatic and inconsistent and different from person to person. Go ahead and take a supplement. For larger doses, you need to do your research and have some justification.

  24. Studies are done on naturals, but notice they ALWAYS say more studies are needed?
    The only reason colleges and research facilities study naturals is to see how they work. Then, they can make a synthetic they can patent and sell.
    Basically, we pay colleges to do government funded studies and then, they team with big pharma to sell us what they learned.

  25. Of course they’re going to say they don’t have any benefits because they want you sick all the time so they can line they’re pockets.

  26. I’ve lived here in tje U.S. since I was 5. The moment I sat outside in my building’s yard I thought, Wow! These people live like prisoners!!” I thought the huge brick buildings (1972) were the ugliest things I have ever seen, lol. Americans did not like us as Mt family and I were Greeks who just moved in a building with no other Europeans. That must have been a culture shock for them, lol.
    My point being, America is poisoning our foods, clothing (China specials), medicine and prescriptions are at their highest numbers!!
    Maybe a few vitamins do help as I have been in a multivitamin for a couple of years and have been feeling great. I also never really make trips to hospitals and doctors.
    Maybe it’s NOT a good thing to be healthy due to the fact the American pharmaceutical companies will fall apart living a couple of dollars, lol.
    This country has no clue about family values, health, culture….etc. It is all about greed and corruption. Yes. I know corruption is everywhere bit America takes the cake, eats it, digests it and keeps puking its guts out!!

  27. Once again, StudyFinds shows exactly what a poor source of accurate information they are. In fact, it’s just shocking how they regurgitate an editorial from an institution that is funded by Big Pharma. Shame on you, StudyFinds! These reports cause harm to those that can’t see through the falsehoods spread by media. Another example of Cancerous Capitalism in today’s media. Stop selling out!

  28. Back in the day, canned vegetables used to contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals, but today they remove the nutrients and make you pay extra to buy them back.

  29. The studies they cite are NOT using complete vitamin and mineral (VM) supplementation for a lifetime, meaning they are useless. Studies – specifically randomized controlled Trials (RCTs) using incomplete VM supplementation – testing the seemingly intuitive act of adding back what we recognize as missing in daily essential nutrition, are futile exercises. Despite being the gold standard for synthetic singularly acting drugs, RCTs are impractical for evaluating miscellaneous combinations of VMs because VMs work synergistically over a lifetime and often deliver misleading or confusing conclusions. Testing daily VM supplementation from fetal development to death using a defined formula containing most major VMs (including known under consumed), documenting compliance as opposed to recall, while comparing this to non-supplemented cohorts throughout life would be virtually impossible with the latter bordering unethical. Further, the non-recommendation of appropriate multiple vitamin and mineral supplementation, i.e., one that contains a population’s known under consumed nutrients including unidentifiable/unknown lapses of any essential VMs (thus ~20-22 VMs), not only defies logic but would be a careless position for health, medical and fitness professionals

  30. I find that regular exercise, at 52, three times a week and watching what I consume seems to get expected results. I take a multi vitamin, fish oil, joint supplement ( cheap brands from Kroger). Are they helping? Hard to say at low quality. The study listed probably needs more data but finding real nutrients in todays world of processing, good luck!

  31. If the supplements are good, then they are good for you as they have the same vitamins as fruits & vegetables. Your body doesn’t care if the vitamin is in a fruit or vitamin gummy. Most “peer reviewed” studies cannot be replicated.

  32. I’ve been saying for years that the “dietary supplement” loophole seriously needs to be closed. We have developed a system where countless things can claim to do some pretty magical things just as long as they don’t directly state they cure or treat a disease (and now I’m seeing some sneak past even that like the nasal flush things that claim they cure viruses.) “Dietary supplements” don’t have to prove in any sort of independent or verified studies or anything that they actually do what they claim to do — or, for that matter, anything at all. Some (namely homeopathic stuff) are literally selling you supposed magic (and let’s be clear, believing that water magically remembers what was in it if you bump it enough times and that the memory of something that causes similar symptoms somehow cures you of things is magical thinking.) None have to prove they even do anything whatsoever and there is absolutely no regulation whatsoever. They don’t even have to give you what they say they give you. Most multi-vitamins have been found to have *significantly* less than they claim to actually have. Rarely a bad batch poisons people with too much instead though. (The irony being homeopathic has succeeded in actually having something when they forgot to dilute the water enough and gave babies nightshade for example. Turns out nightshade doesn’t actually cure colic or whatever. It just makes them sick.) There is absolutely no regulation on the “dietary supplement” industry, allowing companies to rake in literally billions in selling overpriced placebos. Because of the lack of actual regulation the only recourse one has if they want something that provides what it claims to or to do anything about it if they get something that causes harm is to actually sue the company (and guess which one has teams of expert lawyers on the payroll ready for such things any time and which one can’t afford to miss months of work for a long, drawn out trial?)

    The loophole needs to be closed. No more dietary supplements. If a company wants to claim its product benefits people in some way, it should be required to prove that it actually does. If it causes harm it should be forcibly pulled off the shelves, not voluntarily under the hopes that it won’t ever occur to people to actually group together and form class action lawsuits when they actually cause harm to many (which, luckily for them, is rare.) But, then again, would it even be ‘Murika without people being taught to spend lots of money on magical thinking from early childhood?

  33. Yes let’s trust the CDC.Wake up,they paid by big pharma.Supplements saved my life and cured many things for me.
    Total propaganda.

  34. The supplement you should be using is called exercise. A sedentary lifestyle is the primary risk factor for most major disease and premature death. A typical western diet easily provides required intake of necessary nutrients. Since further health benefits are not accrued by consuming vitamins and minerals above adequate intake levels, a multi-vitamin on top of the typical western diet offers no benefit for most people.

  35. 1) Who paid for the study?
    2) Which of the scientists have taken, are taking or are under contract to take money from a pharmaceutical company?
    3) Who provided the placebo?
    4) What does the cohort look like (did they use a group of healthy 28 year old males that would be irrelevant to most of us)?

    Without those questions being asked/answered up front, you do not have an efficacious study (merely an incompetent reporter/investigator)

    1. Those are great questions! For anyone interested:

      1) This was a meta-analysis, not a single study. It was not funded – it was done by volunteer experts (a task force abbreviated USPSTF), peer-reviewed, and published in JAMA.

      2) The USPSTF discloses conflicts of interest on their website.

      3 and 4) 84 studies were reviewed as part of this meta-analysis. If you’re interested in looking more closely at their methodologies, the title of the publication is “Multivitamins and Supplements—Benign Prevention or Potentially Harmful Distraction?”

  36. So the same Government funded research that wants to inject an untested MRNA Covid vaccine into babies that has proven to have killed or injured thousands and still doesn’t prevent Covid infections or death now tells you that vitamins and supplements are worthless? Riiight, STFU!!!

    1. This was a meta-analysis of 84 studies done by an independent panel of experts, who you can read about on the USPSTF website. They are careful to disclose conflicts of interest.

      The panel did not say that vitamins and supplements are worthless. They specifically said: “The task force is not saying ‘don’t take multivitamins'”.
      They also acknowledged the value in taking supplements for cases like deficiencies and pregnancies.

      None of this has anything to do with vaccines. But in case you were curious, the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were tested, and Covid kills and injures far more people than vaccines do.

      1. Please check VAERS and the Eiropean VAERS. There are more incidents for this vaccine than all vaccines combined for the past 25 years. The VAERS system usually reflects one percent of the actual cases so there could be millions of adverse events from a COVID vaccine which neither prevents you from getting or transmitting COVID.

  37. The author of the article seems to suggest that all people who take supplements are looking for an easy health fix. Taking supplements is not inconsistent with good diet and exercise. The author seems to suggest they are mutually exclusive. I am suspect because it seems the author has an underlying agenda. It is not clear to me what that is. I don’t think the study is worthless, but I am not yet ready to give up my multi vitamin. I don’t think this article really speaks to all specific supplements as a group.

  38. JimS – Correcting a misquote, in my reply, I meant better choice not to avoid supplements. ????

  39. Take this with the skepticism it deserves. Who funded the study? I for one had a D deficiency and started taking 10K IU. That resolved my issues. Some vitamins are beneficial.

  40. This is akin to the fox insisting that a full, locking gate on the henhouse has no effect on the health of hens, lol.
    It is *precisely* because many supplements are cheap, effective and readily available that these “study authors” (aka stakeholders) dismiss them. You can thank Big Pharma. These same docs are the first ones to not spend *five minutes* with you talking about diet and exercise, but are happy to quickly write you prescriptions instead. And, of course, the first to screech about the “proven” effectiveness of a “vaccine” that we now know doesn’t work as a vaccine at all. Give me a damn break.

  41. JimS, The type of supplement you use matters on how much the body gets the benefit from them, tablets are least absorbable followed by capsules, liquid form are most absorbable to the body, so it is the type of supplement that we choose to use and a better choice to avoid supplements and depend on diet and exercise with the use of supplements.

  42. @Hard Truth is exactly correct. The average American is actually pretty much incapable of achieving proper nutritional intake…through no fault of their own.

  43. Another garbage study! I used to have colds and severe flu every winter, but have had none of them for the past 48 years. I have never had a flu shot. At age 33 I followed Linus Paulings’ advice and started taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C everyday. Now at age 81 I am in perfect health. All of my blood tests include results only from normal to much better than normal. Over the years I have added other supplements like Vitamins K, D3, and B complex, Astaxanthin, folic acid, CoQ10, alpha lipoic acid, etc. In short, lots of antioxidants. I can still do virtually everything I ever did at age 20, and I fully expect to live past 100. I owe it all to supplements.

    1. I am 80 years old as of Sept. 12 2022. I get a flu shot every year (after discussing the need of it with my Doc.) I get sick once or twice a year. regardless of what the Doc says. I think Linnus was a genius, of course I have never taken Vit. C , other than when actually sick, and regulary drink a pack of Shiner Bock (I live in Texas) daily which I think has absoluty no effect on my health except to make a boring night on the range a little more fun. Some times the conversation between prescription drug manufactures and the rest of the real world is not worth the time to listen to.

  44. The weakness of this study is that it only focuses on heart disease and cancer. There are other health considerations: Strength and stamina. Immunity to infectious disease. Mental acuity. Recovery from injury. Resistance to stress effects. Sustained energy over long hours.

    I don’t have time or interest enough to cook fresh vegetables and instead depend on frozen ones, fully expecting that the nutrients have mostly been processed out of them. At 79 I do manual labor regularly and believe supplements enable me to do it — otherwise I’d watch TV all day.

    A better study would consider whether supplements affect over-all health.

  45. From the article: “The harm is that talking with patients about supplements during the very limited time we get to see them, we’re missing out on counseling about how to really reduce cardiovascular risks, like through exercise or smoking cessation.”
    So, a major problem regarding preventive health measures is doctors not taking the time to discuss effective measures with patients! Is that the fault of the doctors, the health insurance companies, the medical practice corporations, or all of them?

  46. Kind of weird. I don’t take supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer so the article is irrelevant as are its sweeping conclusions extrapolated from findings wrt to the incidence of both. I also eat healthy, exercise regularly and vigorously, and am not looking to displace healthy habits with supplements. Key word: supplements, not displacements.

  47. This article like others I have seen say that vitamins will not cure a disease, of course not, but that is not the reason I and many others take them. They are called supplements not cures, they supplement the deficiencies that most people have in their diets.

  48. Fish oil, Vitamin C, Tumeric, etc. If you’re getting a concentrated source in the form of a capsule, pill, then how can these not be effective? Why is it only effective when consumed only as food (lol)?

  49. The best supplements to take are vitamin C, 2,000 mg a day, b complex with all b vitamins, D 1,000 mcg a day. Any minerals as needed.

  50. Vitamins and minerals are good for you when they are contained within fruits and vegtable, however when vitamins and minerals are separated from the fibers in fruits and vegetables then they magically lose their health benefits.

    Suuure, we all believe that 😉

    1. It’s because most vitamins are synthetic, isolated and fragmented. If you take whole food capsules that are made out of the fruits and vegetables, you get the nutrients you need, and your body can absorb it. I’ve been taking them for 13 years. They work!

  51. If that’s the case, why are our staple foods “fortified” with vitamins? You can’t buy any milk or juice that doesn’t have vitamins synthetically placed into it.

    The bigger problem is they don’t have enough and high quality vitamins, not that there are vitamins. Especially in the US work culture where you’re forced indoors during the best hours of the day, rather than allowed to relax outside and get sunlight like pretty much every other society.

    Doctors and the wealthy all take vitamins, and every gym I’ve been to with fit healthy people everyone takes vitamins. I see these articles telling the most vulnerable people not to take them, insisting they are a ripoff. But vitamins barely cost anything, a year’s supply of D for instance is like $15, a quality multivitamin might run you $100 a year. Your medical costs will be much higher if you refuse to get your vitamins and minerals. It’s almost impossible to get them with our diets and lifestyles, we just don’t have enough time in the sun and the foods we have today have been stripped of their nutritional quality, if you buy from a good organic farm sure there’s more in those foods, but it’s very hard to get that stuff and is more expensive (and a lot of false advertising/fake products).

    1. I’ve worked in several foreign countries… indoors… during the best part of the days. I’ll admit that I wasn’t there to herd goats.

    2. Yes, that’s the entire point of the article. It isn’t the vitamins themselves, it’s the multivitamins stuffed with filler crap that you don’t need. You can get most, if not all, of the vitamins you need through a decent diet. Maybe not drinking milk would help you out, too, though. It’s vile when you know what’s really in it and it destroys your colon.

  52. The headline is misleading. The only thing the study showed is that supplements don’t prevent cancer or heart disease. People take vitamins for other, scientifically valid reasons. Like folate during pregnancy or Vitamin D to prevent thinning bones.

    1. Very good observation. Food, supplements , prescriptions , car oil change , cellular service , etc. all requires doing your home work and then make decisions based on your needs. Just being cynical will get you sick quicker than anything.

      1. I was told in my pharmacy class that most vitamins you take, you excrete in your urine. If your body doesn’t need it, it will not absorb and the body will get rid of it. It is best to get vitamins and minerals through food. It’s best to have blood work done to see what vitamin your lacking and find the foods that are high in that vitamin(s).

  53. Yep need to protect western medicine sales. Based upon my personal experience, apple cider vinegar is 100% effective for my GERD type symptoms and Quercetin is 100% effective for my allergies. No prescription, low cost that actually works is what they are trying to hide.

    1. Apple Cider vinegar has also been studied….and it also has shown no benefits. It’s all placebo effect.

  54. Then why did the hospital prescribe to me B1 and potassium when I was there?The recommended allowance of Potassium is 4700 mg a day. Who gets that through diet?Even a very healthy diet. No wonder everyone has high blood pressure. It is choosing the correct supplement without cheap fillers. The author of this article needs to go back and do some simple research instead voicing an ignorant opinion.

    1. B1 is usually prescribed for heavy alcohol intake which also leads to low potassium (and magnesium).

    2. I call total BS on this. You cherry picked potassium as one of the VERY FEW (if not ONLY) substances that we cannot get through a normal healthy diet (as opposed to ingesting 8 bananas/day to get over 4000 mg of K). But for typical vitamins (D, E, B, C) and minerals like iron, it’s pretty darn easy to get enough if you just eat fruit, vegetables, and lean meats. The problem is that too many Americans call their “diet” a burger and fries. Oh well, at least there’s some potassium in all those fried potatoes.

    3. As Panagiotopoulos points out, it’s possible to actually have an actual vitamin deficiency. That doesn’t mean multi-vitamins are something a person needs in general under normal circumstances.

      But also, let’s not forget that many doctors proscribe things simply because people expect it. The most extreme example being that frequently people all but directly force a doctor to give them a prescription for antibacterials when they have, guess what, a viral disease (all too frequently just a common cold.) Which, btw, is part of what is leading to all the problems we are having with antibacterial resistance since they’re far over-prescribed and people rarely finish their prescriptions once they get well. Now, some here may be ignorant of what that means, so let’s be clear: antibacterials, are only effective against *bacteria.* Viruses are not bacteria. They are radically different and any doctor who managed to get through the first month of medical school already knows the difference and would realize that the things antibacterials do will have no effect on normal viruses and certainly won’t help the patient. But they also know that many people will switch to a doctor who will proscribe what they expect that they have to have, so they do it anyway.

      In short, because someone once proscribed something isn’t evidence it is necessary or even beneficial. In your case perhaps it was. I don’t know the circumstances leading to that hospital trip, but it probably wasn’t a cold if you ended up in the hospital. But the act itself is not evidence or proof of anything.

    4. They literally said that supplements should only be taken as supplements for deficiencies. I think you need to go and do some simple research on reading comprehension and learn how to read.

  55. This is a good article in the sense that it helps show how many of these so called “studies” are of little value in real world health decisions.
    One example might be their failing to mention how vitamin D has helped so many Covid 19 patients minimize symptoms.

    1. “One example might be their failing to mention how vitamin D has helped so many Covid 19 patients minimize symptoms.”

      In fact there is no reliable evidence that D does anything for Covid patients, although it is cheap, may have some effect, and people are generally low in D particularly in winter.

      1. Vitamin D had no effect on the CV. Neither did Ivermectin. But people just want to believe whatever they want with no medical skills. So be it. If a fierce set of ebola comes, you can deny it. And be liquid in three days. Because it HAS to be a political conspiracy.

        1. “Medical skills?” Ebola is like Covid? You’re the one displaying a lack of medical knowledge or even critical thinking skills.

  56. PROFOUNDLY accurate & inaccurate at the same time. 1) Over 80% of all supplements sold in US are garbage, leaving the study foundationally underserved & inaccurate. 2) One-second QRA test shows you how strong or weak a substance/food instantly causes you to become. Hold bottle against body: ???????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????????? ???????????????????? & ???????????????????????? ???????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????? has simple free instructions, along w/ & others.

    “???????????????????? ???????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????, ????????????????????????, & ???????????? ????????????????.” Less opining, more testing, please

  57. come on. use common sense … vitamins. one of the biggest frauds perpetrated on people … ever. some vitamins are good, but not many. eat fruit and vegetables, exercise. don’t drink a lot. don’t take bad drugs. simple stuff

        1. I’ve read that light decreases vitamin D in milk, yet we went from opaque waxed cardboard containers to clear plastic (bad for landfill) stored on well lit shelves at the grocery store.

      1. Not a problem. The sun always shines on America, unlike your diseased, 3rd world dictatorship.

    1. The only way to know how much and if you need any supplements is via a blood test. Also, keep in mind that there’s a difference between the “normal range and optimum nutrition. You’re lifestyle influences your nutritional health. Do you exercise, drink alcohol, smoke, etc. There’s no one size fits all answer and your dr. has studied, at most, about 2 hrs. of nutrition in med school. It’s not in the drs. best interests to help you to become healthy and drs. can do only 3 things: cut you, poison you, and burn you. Surgery, drugs, and radiation.

    2. Good advice. Or go to the doctor and get a pill. Then go back to the doctor for the side effects of that pill, he’ll give you another pill. Then before you know it you’ll be taking 30 to 34 pills to cover up all your symptoms. Oh and then you die early in bad medicated health.

      All because diet and exercise were too hard. ????

      I’m weird, I don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, eat right, take supplements and exercise. Everybody thinks I’m 10 years younger and I think everyone else is 10 to 20 years older. ????

      The crazy part is some people who are in terrible shape think I’m crazy for exercising. ????
      Eliminated carbs in my arthritis went away in a week or two, huge from bars and did shoulder exercises and my bursitis disappeared, did deep tissue massage on my feet and the problems the podiatrist said would never go away are gone.
      It’s called the “practice” of medicine for a reason, they practice!

      Too many people listen to their doctor and think it’s the final word. It’s not The internet contains the sum total of human knowledge and it’s at your fingertips. Use it!

    3. Most of them are definitely completely useless. If anything, like they said, they should be used to supplement an actual deficiency, not replace any actual effort. And not the ones that everyone buys at the stores, they’re all just crap unless it’s prescribed and administered by a pharmacy.

        1. You mean those 2 years where people were washing hands constantly, many were wearing masks, and keeping their distance? Interestingly, I have not had a cold or flu the past few years either, and I take no vitamins. Glad you can tell it’s your vitamins working though.

        2. Read “Vermont Folk Medicine”. It’s all about the benefits of apple cider vinegar. A couple of table spoons per day and I don’t get the flu or colds.

    1. Hahahahaha….. Ya. Americans can’t trust anyone because they feel that everyone is out to cheat and rob them, because American society produces cheats and robbers by it’s nature.

      American culture is diseased.

        1. I’ll err on the side of having more nutrition than necessary than not getting enough and keep taking my supplements. I’d rather be on supplements than pharmaceuticals. I’m 55 and avoid pharmaceuticals.
          Big pharma doesn’t want to cure people’s ailments, they want people to be stuck talking their products for life. They have admitted that themselves.

          1. I’m 61 and only take one so called pharmaceutical which is an over the counter drug in freer countries than the U.S.. I had horrible health until starting to take vitamins. Now I’m doing much better. I had cancer with major surgery. The cancer wasn’t so bad, but the U.S. big pharma cure left me permanently scared and damaged inside. Next round with cancer, I will go to Mexico. They have better cures.

          2. You are definitely correct. Big Pharmaceutical is corrupt just like our current government

        2. I have been taking supplements for decades. Twice I had to go off of them for surgery and after not getting a cold or the flu for close to ten years, doh! When I halted my regimen the first time I got a horrendous cold. The second time, I had the flu. Waste of money, I think not.

      1. No not at all, it’s just that we are not as naive is you.
        As American’s G Machuze and I are sovereign citizens, our Govt works for us. Whereas you are a subject of your government and do whatever you are told.

        Americans are responsible for ourselves and our safety, Govt does not take care of us. We also understand history and human nature, it’s the same all over the world. Unless you think angels have come down from heaven to run your Govt. LOL ????

        You sir are very naive if you think the people in your government always tell you the truth and never take advantage of thier office. Same goes for corporations and people in general.

        You might try critical thinking, it’s liberating.

      2. One of the CDCs biggest investors is the Sergey Brin Family foundation. And guess who pledged the most money to that foundation in 2021… Bill Gates. The CDC conducted this “research” and it is in their interest to make these claims to line the pockets of the people that fund them. None of this has to be true. It’s all just marketing. Just business as usually for big pharma gangsters in America who make their money off sick people.

        1. The report said to STOP taking vitamins, so who will benefit financially if the consumers STOP buying these products? Oops, there is a hole in your conspiracy theory.

          1. They want you to stop taking them so that you’ll get sick and depend on pharmaceuticals

      3. “Hahahahaha….. Ya…American society produces cheats and robbers by it’s [sic] nature.”

        The fevered babblings of an illiterate with a diseased mind.

      4. We have a lot of good competition around the world!!!
        What is the number of people coming to the US and what is the number of them leaving. EXACTLY!!!

      5. You really believe it’s American culture why don’t you try a Godless culture travel the world and you will find out it gets worse than it is in America

      6. But yet everyone wants to come here. And everyone wants to be me because I am an American god.

      7. This is not true.
        As far as a diseased culture, all cultures have been infiltrated by evil in one way or another.

        What is the NAME of YOUR COUNTRY, let’s examine it.

    2. $50 billion dollar industy…The Vitamin industry IS big Pharma, only it is unregulated and not supported by any valid peer reviewed science.

    3. And also by the AMA perhaps. As the article states, people take vitamins and avoid “important” trips to the doc over health issues. Gotta keep that unneeded office visit revenue rolling in. See the almighty doc. Vitamins are ok for pregnant “individuals” though.

    4. Oh Hardly, Go ahead man. LOad up on IRON despite overWHELMING research. If you stopped eating at McDonald’s and ate fruits and vegetables and lean meets and fish you would do much better. But nooooo. As an unskilled at anything guy, you know better

      1. You forgot fats, animal fats. Yeah the myth that fat is bad has been disproven long ago yet you still believe. Animal fats are essential for hormone production and many other processes.

        The same happens in medicine, institutional inertia that’s resistant to change.

        If your doctor doesn’t keep up with new science he’ll be practicing old medicine. If he does pay attention it will likely take up to 7 years for the lastest information to get to him. There are a few who keep current but they are far and few between.

        If you take anything in access it can be harmful. Supplements should supplement. In other words a vitamin will not make up for poor diet, but it can help (supplement) a good diet.

        There are certain compounds body makes less so as we age. Some can be supplemented while others get destroyed by our digestive tract. In that case we can take precursors to help our body produce what we need. PPQ, CoQ10, Glutathione etc. Vitamin D3 in higher amounts of 5,000 to 10,000 iu has show to improve health and longevity. D3 is basically a hormone. When our skin is exposed to sunlight it produces vitamin D in very large quantities. Unfortunately most people get little sunlight and in northern climates the sun isn’t intensive during the winter months to produce vitamin D.

        But you trust what you are told, trust the weakest form of evidence aka a study and never researched the subject yourself. ????

        1. Paul,
          Do you use transdermal glutathione? I am interested in learning more about how you take these “precursors.”
          I would appreciate knowing more. Thank you

        2. Animal fats are only good for the animals to whom they belong. Humans do not need to consume animal fats.

    5. Yeah, everyone knows “Big Pharma” wants people to realize that there aren’t magic pills that solve every single problem and don’t have to prove that they do with any sort of evidence. “Big Pharma” companies definitely wouldn’t actually be among the companies benefitting from this system of “dietary supplements.” Please don’t check any of the labels.

      1. And yet, the “negative” article goes on to mention that Vitamin D, Calcium and Folic Acid HAVE been proven beneficial. Other studies show benefits. Key word is “Supplements.” Multivitamins and certain herbs should not be used to REPLACE healthy eating…but they can be a helpful supplement!

      1. Clearly they are, they’re making $50 billion a year off of pseudoscience nonsense because people refuse to do any real research before buying into things.

    6. This article is for sure manufactured by agricultural sources fearing vitamins will replace food. Which is over thinking a subject. The fact that supplements that help with a missing vitamin or nutritional need reflected in a blood test, is real. This article is reckless and irresponsible. Diabetics can not eat most fruits for fear of high readings on the glucometer. Some foods would have to be eaten at great volumes to reach what supplements can provide. Take this propaganda down now.

    7. Did you read your comment before posting? Big pharmas entire existence relies on people believing that pills will solve their problems. Yet their against pills that solve their problems? You seem very dim. Like a 120 volt bulb attached to a 9-volt.

    8. That’s why it is important to take WHOLE FOOD supplements along with a healthy diet. Sad when a gov funded agency recommends Food Banks because healthy food purchases are beyond the reach of so many. And in radon & cancer capitals like NJ, do you really want to eat produce from our soil? Why is the gov is providing farmers with their own food banks? It’s essentially paying farmers Not to grow food.

      1. Correct! Whole Food supplements, which are supplements derived from fruits and vegetables directly, not synthesized in a lab, are easier for our bodies to absorb.
        I’d like to know the quality of supplements they used for this study.

    9. The “Clinical Study” is 100% correct if we assume that the diet comprises mainly artificial ingredients, trans fats, sugars, soy, etc. The innate intelligence/immune function can only do so much. The reality is that we our body’s need organic whole foods, exercise, mental health support and of course genetic testing to personalize micro/macro nutrients. The author is lacking in mental clarity by discounting nutrients w/o establishing a base-line of diet.

    10. Totally agree. For instance 2,400 mgs of fermented garlic a day has demonstrated through RTCs to be more effective than statins at enhancing arterial health. Ditto for baby aspirin. Vitamin D has shown to be effective in fighting off Covid in numerous studies as well as an effective defense against 19 different types of cancer. And, so on. The idiocy of this article is that it seems to deny that there are any compounds outside of what Big Pharm produced that are worthy of consumption. Is that not interesting. Also, no one I know who utilizes these natural compounds for health are doing so at the exclusion of a good diet and physical activity – this is as straw man that they created.

    11. Absolutely. I never rely on the “American Health Scare System” for my health and well being. I eat organic food as much as possible and take all the essential vitamins that I need. I feel great!

    12. You’re probably one of those fools that thinks “Balance of Nature” , “Enzyte” and “Prevagen” actually work. All 3 are nothing but snake oil. Blood tests will tell you what you really need.

    13. I do believe this study is blatant lie I’m living proof supplements help greatly. Big pharmaceutical lies to fill their coffers!!

    14. Who pays for these research studies? That’s the real waste of money. These studies conclude the most obvious things. Like people actually don’t like being smacked in the face …new study finds. But more research is needed…what a waste of money. Also this study does not take individuality into account. Everyone is different. Many people are deficient in nutrients. I think individuals are more than capable if deciding for themselves if a supplement is helping and what supplements work. Like another comment here, big pharma doesn’t make money from supplements. Oh and also prescription medications are made from these same supplement along with a ton of unnecessary fillers and a 200% price mark up for profit. If you ask me these studies are the real waste of time and money! Who needed a nother study to tout the benefits of diet and exercise?! Any person who is going to read this study would already know that diet and exercise are important. The crime is that this is where our tax dollars are going. Way to take power from the people. Lets research things that 2 year olds can’t conclude with the peoples money please!

    15. Exactly, they are the ones that don’t want you to stay healthy.
      Who would they push their drugs to.

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