Are Multivitamins Useless?

Taking a multivitamin everyday to boost your health could actually be a waste of money.

That’s because nutrients pressed into pill form isn’t absorbed into the body as well as nutrients that come from actual food, notes WalletPop. Still, Americans spend more than $4 billion a year multivitamins, the site notes.

And when they are absorbed, you could end up with more than you need, which may lead to negative side effects, according to the Food and Drug Administration. That could mean nausea, liver problems, blurred vision, nerve damage and interactions with other medications, according to the agency.

“If you're generally healthy and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean meats and fish, you likely don't need dietary supplements,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

On the other hand, if you live on bagels and coffee for your nutrients, according to WalletPop, $30 or so per year on a bottle of Centrum might not be a bad idea, but spending several dollars daily on individual packages of multiple vitamins might be overdoing it.

But generally, “a multivitamin is kind of like an insurance policy for someone too lazy to determine whether they have any deficiencies,” Dr. Stephen Barrett of told WalletPop. “…A body simply doesn't require a daily blast of a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals.”

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