Do multivitamins work?

In my humble opinion, I think they work most of the time. I would put it on a sliding scale, maybe 10-20% at worst, 80-90% at best. I think it depends upon

  1. the amount of food/water you have on your stomach when taking the pill.

  2. how quickly your body metabolizes the capsule/pill

  3. the excercise done afterward that would change conditions for (1) and (2)

  4. taking multivitamins before bed, when it would be absorbed slower into the body.

This is pure speculation on my part, what do you think?

AFAIK it’s best to take a multivitamin with the meal you consider the fattiest one you’ll have that day. Several vitamins are fat-soluble, so that meal will help the body absorb them better. Vitamins are synergistic, they work better in combination. C helps in iron absorption for example. I don’t take a full strength everyday as I feel my diet is, for the most part, healthy and nutritious. About every third day seems right to me. Various info gleaned has pointed the dangers of too much iron, copper, the element du jour, take your pick. Another reason to space them out. Any nutritionists, dieticians, et al who can add anything, or correct any misinformation I may have inadvertantly posted?

Define “work.”

It’s likely they prevent vitamin deficiency diseases; no one gets scurvy or beriberi. But that’s also a function of diet. In the US, diet is pretty good from a vitamin point of view (fats, salt, and sugar are another matter).

The pills are pretty much harmless, but it’s doubtful anyone eating a good diet needs them. Americans have a tendency to put their faith in pills, so take the vitamins “just in case,” even when vitamin deficiencies here are extremely rare.

I don’t bother with them.

What RealityChuck said. There is little to no documented benefit from taking extra vitamins if you have adequate amounts of vitamins from a balanced diet.


Yet many of the nutritionists, dieticians, health professionals, etc. who state what Qadgop the Mercotan posted admit, if asked, that they take a multi-vitamin/mineral tablet.

Noone has clinical deficiencies of vitamin C in this country, but that does not mean that you are getting the optimal amount. The recommended amount now is 60mg, but there’s talk about increasing it. U.of Cal.'s Wellness Letter, cites studies that show 250-500 mg is optimal, and that is what it recommends.

You have to be careful not to take excessive amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins, as the body does not excrete the surplus, especially A and D, but there’s nothing wrong in taking a vitamin/mineral pill. As I said, of those who say you don’t need it, many take it anyway, “just in case.”