Are vitamins worth the money?

Vitamins!
(Bradley Simke/Flickr)

“One in two adults takes a daily vitamin pill, and Americans spend tens of billions of dollars each year on supplements. Now, a small coterie of physicians writing in a leading medical journal has offered this blunt advice: ‘Stop wasting money,'” writes Roni Caryn Rabin in the New York Times.

In an unusually direct opinion piece, the five authors say that for healthy Americans worried about chronic disease, there’s no clear benefit to taking vitamin and mineral pills. And in some instances, they may even cause harm.

The authors make an exception for supplemental vitamin D, which they say needs further research. Even so, widespread use of vitamin D pills “is not based on solid evidence that benefits outweigh harms,” the authors wrote. For other vitamins and supplements, “the case is closed.”

“The message is simple,” the editorial continued. “Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.”

Today’s Question: Are vitamins worth the money?