Do vitamins really work?


Quick Answer

Vitamins are beneficial, but they aren't a substitute for a healthy diet, according to WebMD. In addition, taking too many vitamins sometimes causes harm, WebMD states.

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Full Answer

People who eat a healthy and balanced diet may not need to take vitamins, according to Healthline. Individuals who take vitamins as a substitute for a bad diet should instead focus on adopting healthy eating habits. This includes increasing fruit and vegetable intake.

Certain members of the population benefit from taking vitamins and supplements, according to Healthline. Adults over 50 should take a vitamin B-12 supplement, people who get less than 15 minutes of sun each day should take vitamin D and pregnant women are advised to add a supplement containing folic acid to their diets to prevent birth defects.

People need to be cautious when adding more vitamins to their diet, WebMD states. Too many fat-soluble vitamins can lead to lethal overdoses because they remain in the body for longer. This includes vitamins K, E, D and A. Overdosing can lead to early death as well as problems with the skeletal system and liver. Individuals also need to exercise caution when reading vitamin health claims, Mayo Clinic highlights. There is evidence to suggest that some don't come with the health benefits the manufacturers promote.

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