An interesting publication recently came out that had a panel of experts along with cited studies looking at the role of vitamin and mineral (MV) supplementation. Click HERE to read.
A quick summary: Eh.
For certain populations, like pregnant women or elderly, a multivitamin could ensure an adequate level of certain vitamins or minerals. They appear safe for the general population, as long as there is no abnormal eating (like someone who eats 6lbs of carrots a day), there shouldn’t be an issue with over consuming a nutrient beyond safe levels. Overall, it doesn’t appear that MVs lead to a longer life.
A few things here. One, it is very difficult to properly study this topic. Every human that is in a study has different genetics, environment, and food habits. While many studies do try and have some tracking with food intake, it’s nearly impossible and wildly inaccurate. So basically the studies are more wide scale, which is fine but not conclusive. Second, most vitamins and minerals should be had from a diet of whole foods. There are certain conditions that may need supplementation, like being a vegan, having digestive problems, pregnancy, or certain food group food avoidances. However, this should be assessed by a professional before just going to GNC and buying mega tablets.
If you feel better taking a basic MV, go for it. If not, I also wouldn’t worry too much unless there is a specific concern.