Written by: Lindsey Marx | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: February 24th, 2020
Most people have wondered at some point whether or not they should take vitamins. Some people claim that vitamins are a scam, they don’t provide any nutritional value, and they don’t lead to visible effects for weeks and months, if ever. And other people claim they can improve your health, energy levels, and quality of life. So, what is the verdict? According to experts, this is what you should do:
In the medical realm
Shravan Katta MD, a hospital physician
“Vitamins, when taken at recommended doses, can help to improve chronic symptoms like fatigue, relieve body aches, improve mood, and reduce frequency and duration of the common cold, which in fact can improve the quality of life and performance on a daily basis.
I do recommend vitamins to others as vitamins act to boost your life. It is very difficult get vitamins in right doses with regular diet, based on daily variations in the American diet.
Vitamins help to supplement the diet on a daily basis.”
Alam Hallan, Director of Pharmacy at Guelph General Hospital
“I use a few vitamins regularly in my life. Vitamin D and Vitamin C, especially during the Canadian winter months. Vitamin D helps improve bone health and also seemed to help with some lower back pain issue, whereas Vitamin C definitely helps with the winter cough and colds. I definitely recommend these to other because of the extremely favourable cost benefit ratio.”
“People take vitamins for all kinds of reasons, from preventative immune-boosting reasons to just wanting to improve their general health. Either way, I would always recommend getting your vitamins from varied natural sources such as fruits, veggies, and nuts."
Nikola Djordjevic MD, medical adviser at Loudcloudhealth.com
"In my particular case, I do take vitamins preventatively for my hair due to family history. Here are the vitamins I take and their primary benefits in regards to scalp and hair health:
Vitamin A is essential to promote healthy cell growth, including stimulating hair growth. Another important function of Vitamin A is helping the skin cells produce sebum, which helps keep the hair moisturized and healthy.
Vitamin B, or more specifically the biotin contained within, is important to hair and scalp health since it helps transport nutrients and oxygen. It's used in hair-loss treatment due to its ability to help revitalize hair growth and promote a healthy scalp.
Vitamin C's most important role is to prevent your hair from aging and protect it from free radicals by producing a substance called collagen. Another important function is that vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, which is important for hair growth.
Finally, there is Vitamin E that can boost hair growth and is also a powerful antioxidant that helps keep the hair and scalp healthy.”
Elliot Reimers, a NASM Certified Nutrition Coach and health expert
“Micronutrients are arguably the most overlooked aspect of the human diet. Despite only requiring a small amount of these nutrients, vitamins and minerals play a major role in our health, longevity, and performance. Most men (and women) have a tough time meeting their daily micronutrient needs through food sources. Naturally, this is where multivitamins for men come into play. As a quick reminder, do not invest in a men’s multivitamin with the intention to use it as a replacement for the daily vitamins and minerals. You should be consuming from whole foods like vegetables and fruits.”
In the dietary/supplements industry
Calloway Cook, Founder of Illuminate Labs, a dietary supplements company
“I personally take Vitamin C, a methylated Vitamin B complex, Vitamin K2, and Vitamin D3 for the winter months. I've noticed a significant improvement in my energy levels since supplementing with the B-complex. I was clinically deficient in Vitamin B12, with levels in the lower range for some of the other B-vitamins, so fixing this deficiency through supplementation has worked for me. I also sleep better, but that could be caused by other factors.
I recommend vitamin supplementation based on blood test results. Supplementation should be personalized and based on data rather than guesswork in 2019. However, taking Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin C as a preventative measure can't hurt since they're water-soluble, meaning you urinate out the excess.”
Rachel Bodine, writer for ExpertInsuranceReviews.com
"I’m a vegetarian, so I take a few supplements to make sure I’m getting the proper vitamins I need. I take a woman’s multivitamin with added iron, as iron is something that vegetarians have trouble getting in their diets. I also take an omega-3 supplement, as it’s supposed to help heart, brain, and joint health.
I have noticed a difference since I started taking vitamins. Taking a multivitamin and a omega-3 each day gives me a little more energy. If I forget to take my vitamins for more than few days in a row, I can notice a small dip in my energy. Because of my vegetarian diet, I need the added iron and B-12 that the multivitamin gives me. I think the omega-3 supplement also helps with my hair, as my hair has become slightly softer and shiner over the years of taking an omega-3 supplement.
I do recommend vitamins to others, especially those who are on special diets, such as vegans or vegetarians. Vitamins are a great way to make sure you’re getting all the proper nutrients you need on restricted diet. I’ve noticed a subtle but important change in my energy levels since I’ve added vitamins into my daily routine.”
In the consumer/advocate realm
Jadi Collado, a certified fitness instructor, professionally trained dancer and actor, and influencer
“If we all ate a healthy balanced diet, there would be no need for vitamin supplements, but because this isn't usually the case (even for a fitness professional like myself), I highly recommend and take vitamin supplements.
It's all about consistency to me. For some people, it's extremely difficult to consume pills and if gummy/chewable vitamins will make it simpler to consume on a more consistent basis, I say go for it but the types of vitamins consumed should be determined on an individual basis — there is no one-size fits all.
I work in gyms and boutique fitness studios so my goal is always to keep my immune system in tip top shape. I take Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium and a multi-vitamin, all in gummy form.”
Take your vitamins! Not only does it help supplement vitamins from food we eat each day, but it helps to boost energy, fight germs, and helps you to feel better overall.