Multivitamins are claimed to offer health benefits to the consumer. But, health experts claim that vitamin companies are taking advantage of 'gullible consumers' by urging them to take pills that have little or no benefit.
Professor Ken Harvey, from Melbourne's Monash University Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, said that multivitamins are a 'waste of time and money.'
‘Multivitamins are a ‘waste of money’ for normal people. But they are necessary for clinical patients with nutritional deficiencies.
The 'so-called' vegetable extracts that are advertised on vitamin packets are contained in minuscule quantities that provide no benefit for the consumer, said Prof Harvey.
"The general message is that the vast amount of multivitamins consumed by the large number of normal people is a waste of time and money," said Prof Harvey.
Most of the people take multivitamins believing that vitamins can substitute a healthy lifestyle including exercise and healthy diet.
"There's a case for many of these supplements to be used as directed," he said. "But for the worried well, many of them are not needed."
Associate Professor Tim Crowe, from Deakin University's School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, said, "In most cases vitamins sought out by 'worried well' people were rarely necessary."
Some clinical patients are advised to take vitamin supplements and others take iron tablets to treat iron deficiencies. "There's a case for many of these supplements to be used as directed. But for the worried well, many of them are not needed," said Crowe.