vitamin supplements

Are Daily Vitamin Supplements Useful?

Hey there Guys. Today I was chatting with a patient about healthy eating and he asked if vitamin supplements are good for staying healthy. My answer? No.

Here in Australia vitamin supplements are quite popular however for most people totally unnecessary. As reported in Australian Doctor:

For some people, vitamins are a necessity. For most of us though, they are a waste of money and could actually do harm.

While there are people who undoubtedly benefit from vitamin supplements, such as women planning a pregnancy and people with chronic illnesses, she says the majority of us don’t need them.

“It is far better to use the money you save on supplements on buying more healthy foods like vegetables and fruit,” she says. “All the good bits would never be able to fit into a vitamin capsule.”

And Professor Collins warns that multivitamins containing beta-carotene can be a major risk for smokers. A number of clinical trials have shown that this supplement can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

Non-smokers are not exempt from her warnings — studies suggest people who take a multivitamin are less careful about diet because they believe the pill is all they need.

Rarely discussed is the risk of overdose of some vitamin supplements.

Fat soluble vitamins D, E, A and K can accumulate within the body causing problems.

Most other vitamins are water soluble which means a tiny amount is absorbed and the rest goes down the toilet filtered by the kidney.

For healthy people the best strategy to ensure you are getting your vitamins is to eat plenty of fresh foods an vegetables. I like to suggest getting as many different colours on your plate.

Some people may benefit from a vitamin supplement however it’s best to talk with your doctor before you start. This can help ensure you are not wasting your money or potentially causing harm.

Yours in good health.

Dr George