Multivitamins don’t work Posted on February 24th, 2009 by

According to a short article in The Week, taking daily multivitamins is a waste of money. In an enormous study involving more than 160,000 women over a period of eight years, researchers found that multivitamins do absolutely nothing to prevent cancer or heart disease or increase people’s longevity. More than half of all Americans take multivitamins, spending more than $20 billion a year on them. Researchers said people would be better off eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains than popping vitamin pills.

On one hand, I’m relieved because despite several attempts over the span of my life at good intentions, I cannot seem to develop a routine of taking vitamins. Now I don’t have to try and fail anymore. On the other hand, the study doesn’t seem to speak to quality of life issues such as, mood, energy level, cognitive clarity, etc. So am I really off the hook?



  1. Lisa Heldke says:

    Did the study include supplements other than vitamins–like fish oil or glucosamine? I’m just curious because if I can find evidence that would enable me to stop eating those horse pills, I’d be quite thrilled.

    Do you have info about who did the study?

  2. Stacey Gerken says:

    I did a little more research into the research. The study was conducted with post-menopausal women and data was collected on multivitamin use.

    Henry Emmons, M.D., has a whole chapter on recommendations for use of vitamins and mineral supplements in “Chemistry of Joy”. His chapter is called “Nature’s Pharmacy”. I think he would recommend continuation of the horse pills. He does suggest using high quality brands to increase absorption.