I have turned completely around on supplemental vitamins. Just a few years ago, I was working with a company that provided custom vitamin specifically tailored to your needs. Basically, you would send the company at a urine sample and they would figure out what it is you’re metabolizing and then they would tailor their vitamin cocktail to help supplement whatever it is you’re metabolizing a lot of. Garbage. For me personally, after 6 months, I really didn’t feel any different. I started reading more and more about supplemental vitamins and became more and more discouraged. Just the other day a large study came out in the Annals of Internal Medicine, basically, they could find no benefit from supplemental vitamins. None.

The conclusion of that article was relatively stark: Limited evidence supports any benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation for the prevention of cancer or CVD (cardiovascular disease). Two trials found a small, borderline-significant benefit from multivitamin supplements on cancer in men only and no effect on CVD.

Before everyone starts flashing their vitamins down the toilet, I would urge caution. For the most part, I think the supplemental vitamins are a waste of time and money. If you eat a normal diet and you have “normal activity.” On the other hand, there may be some special exceptions to this broad rule. If you are an athlete and you are burning an enormous amount of calories in a single day, there may be some benefit to supplemental vitamins depending upon your diet. I would check with your healthcare professional. I find it relatively disconcerting that there were no benefits found to supplemental vitamins in the cancer population. Many cancer patients can become extremely malnourished, one would expect, if you’re going to find benefits, you would find it in this population.

You can find the whole enchilada (complete article) here.