In it Emilie Combet and Christina Buckton sought to summarize whether or not there's evidence to suggest that there's benefit to taking multivitamins and other supplements.
They point out that our bodies are incredibly well adapted to handle different levels of nutrient intakes and that we have mechanisms that help us to deal with shortfalls and surpluses of most supplements and that as a consequence, for true deficiency states to occur, usually a great deal of time (and dietary deficiency) needs to pass. They also point out that more is not always a good thing and that high levels of vitamins and minerals consequent to supplementation can in fact confer risk.
They suggest there are only 2 situations where good evidence would suggest a person should consider supplements.
- To correct specific and demonstrated deficiencies due to inadequate dietary intake (eg. a documented case of iron deficiency)
- To supplement people with disease states where requirements are heightened (critically ill patients), or absorption is compromised (inflammatory bowel disease, post-bariatric surgery, etc.)
As you might have already gathered, their conclusion is to eat a nutritionally balanced diet and not bother with supplements unless there's a real and non-theoretical need. My addition to that conclusion would be to suggest that unless there's a real reason for you to spend it, the money you're currently spending on supplements would be far better spent on any or all of:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Cooking classes
- Great new lunch boxes in which to pack your home-made lunches
- Exercise equipment or clothing that might help you to move more
- Dance lessons
- Good room darkening blinds to improve your sleep