MAY 18, 2016 07:55 AM PDT

The Vitamin Verdict: More May Not Be Better

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Nearly half of American adults take some form of multivitamin supplement daily. The market for these supplements is saturated with a dizzying selection of brands and formats, all competing for the estimated $12 billion that consumers spend every year on multivitamins. But are these little pills really that beneficial, or could they actually hurt our health?

The brief answer is: It depends. Our bodies can't make many of the compounds it needs to efficiently carry out its daily tasks. This is why we have to rely on other sources, like food and the sun, for the vitamins. And if we're already consuming a well-balanced diet, our vitamin needs should, theoretically, be met. However, when we consume vitamins in excess, some vitamins can accumulate and may actually cause adverse effects for the body.

Vitamins supplements are wonderful, especially to those people whose bodies are deficient in those certain compounds. However, when it comes to vitamins, too much of a good thing may indeed be bad for us. Thus, experts say, rather than multivitamins, some people may benefit more from just eating regular fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 22, 2018
Videos
SEP 22, 2018
Did a Vampire Facial Expose Patients to Bloodborne Disease?
It seems there is no shortage of unusual beauty rituals; vampire facials may fall into that category....
SEP 26, 2018
Videos
SEP 26, 2018
Why do leaves change color in the fall?
We know that deciduous trees drop their leaves every winter in order to avoid wasting precious resources on keeping them alive during the long, hard, cold ...
SEP 27, 2018
Videos
SEP 27, 2018
Why haven't Tesla's solar roofs taken off yet?
In October of 2016, Tesla came out with prototypes of solar roof panels that were meant to revolutionize the way we think about producing energy for our ho...
OCT 09, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 09, 2018
Putting the Mars 2020 Rover Together - Behind the Scenes
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know by now that NASA’s planning to send another rover to the Martian surface to investigate...
OCT 16, 2018
Videos
OCT 16, 2018
Can the Bacteria That we Carry Give us Special Powers?
The bacteria that we carry in and on our bodies can affect our health and well-being in many ways....
OCT 22, 2018
Videos
OCT 22, 2018
Why doesn't Europe get hurricanes?
Why is it that the US gets pummeled with hurricanes every year and Europe hasn't seen one in over fifty years? Even though Europe does get hit with flo...
Loading Comments...