Lots of Americans — one-third of the whole population — take multivitamin pills every day, thinking they are very useful for their health. But is it really so? Unfortunately, the reality is not so pleasant. Keep reading to find out what are the true effects of multivitamin pills!
Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, thinks that simply drinking water without any vitamins is even better because it’s cheaper and the effect is the same. According to him, those pills cannot help you improve your physical condition. The USPSTF (US Preventive Services Task Force) agrees with him, saying that multivitamins are basically useless for health. They published a large review of 84 various research with almost 700,000 participants. This review doesn’t show any evidence that multivitamin pills make life longer or prevent dangerous diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, or cancer.
Why is it difficult to stop taking multivitamins?
According to surveys, people strongly believe that multivitamin supplements give them energy, improve their mood and help them remain healthy. It’s a very popular and widespread myth that’s almost a hundred years old and supported by very different groups of people, from vegans to traditionalists.
Advertisement promises vs. reality
The production of multivitamin pills is a really cheap process, which gives companies a great possibility to spend plenty of money on their advertisement campaigns. Also, since these supplements are officially considered food instead of medicine, it’s forbidden to write direct health-related claims on them — but companies still bypass it, making vague slogans about “supporting the immune system” and other similar things.
Dr. Cohen warns that even if a multivitamin is marketed as extremely beneficial, it doesn’t mean that it really is. You should always look for a disclaimer saying that these claims are not approved by the FDA and that these pills can’t heal you. All multivitamin pills are officially required to have this disclaimer on their packages. Unfortunately, many people simply don’t notice it.
But, on the other hand, these pills cannot cause any harm either. Usually, they’re just useless, and that’s all. But very often, they’re rather expensive — and it’s way better to spend money on something really beneficial.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, there are. Multivitamins can be useful for people who follow extremely strict diets and thus devoid themselves of many vitamins and minerals. Also, they are good for those who have problems with the absorption of nutrients due to surgeries or diseases. People who get too little sunlight (for example, because of living in northern regions) should take vitamin D supplements, and anemia sufferers need to take pills with iron.