Multivitamins seem like a simple proposition: The once-a-day supplements are full of essential vitamins and minerals, helping to keep your body strong and prevent against disease. And to most Americans, these benefits are persuasive:
A recent survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), found that 76% of adults in the U.S. take a supplement; more than half pop a multivitamin.But the science surrounding multivitamins is far from definitive.
A 2019 study from Tufts researchers, for instance, found that supplements don’t necessarily extend your lifespan—but getting the same amount of vitamins from your diet might. A 2018 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that multivitamins do not lower your risk of heart disease or stroke.
And the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says that there simply isn’t sufficient evidence to recommend the use of multivitamins for cancer prevention.