Do You Really Need To Take Vitamins?

The vitamin industry is enormous, with extraordinary claims of significant health benefits. But do they really make you fitter, stronger and thinner, or are they just an expensive way to turn your pee bright orange?

Vitamins are absolutely essential for our nutrition and growth. We cannot make them ourselves and so must get them from the environment. Certain vitamins can be stored by the body whereas others must be consumed regularly. Fat-soluble vitamins such as A and E dissolve into our bodies until they’re needed, whereas vitamin C, B12 and folate have to be eaten regularly.

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Not getting enough vitamins can have horrifying health consequences: scurvy and rickets, for example. but vitamins are simply everywhere, in amounts much more than we need, in all manner of foods, and these awful conditions caused by vitamin deficiencies do not exist in anyone with a nod towards a sensible varied diet including a few fruit, veggies, grains and so forth.

The human digestive system is a truly amazingly efficient sieve designed to extract everything it needs for health and wellbeing from what we eat. Give it a bit of variation and it will do the job just fine.

Except for very rare circumstances we don’t need an enormous multibillion pound industry to do the work that our digestive systems do for free.