Do Supplemental Vitamins Actually Work?

Do Supplemental Vitamins Actually Work?

(orchestral music) – Hi there, I’m Jonathan
and welcome to Brain Stuff. Now if you’re like me,
you grew up being taught that taking your vitamins
was an important part of a balanced, healthy life. The alternative is to eat
exactly the right amount of foods to supply your body with
the recommended daily value of nutrients. And who wants to do all that work when you can just swallow a pill? Or even better, chew on
a block of sugar shaped like your favorite cartoon character. But are supplemental vitamins helpful? Does a vitamin a day truly
keep you healthy to play? Well first, let’s get
a simple understanding of how vitamins work. They’re really just small
molecules that our bodies need to carry out certain reactions. Unfortunately, our bodies
don’t make vitamins themselves, so we need to eat food that contains these important molecules. 60 years ago, the first
multivitamin became available on the American market. Basically, this is a pill that
contains at least 10 vitamins and 10 minerals to supplement our diet. Now millions of adults and
children devour these pills every day, spending $12
billion a year on them. If you don’t have the time
to gather fresh fruit, vegetables, and grains every day, then you’re probably
taking a multivitamin. But several recent studies
have shown that there are some negative effects to be aware of when taking multivitamins. For instance, less than
half the multivitamins sold in the United States
and Canada actually contain what their labels say. Sometimes they’ll have
too much of a supplement, like a children’s vitamin
that had 216% the amount of vitamin A listed. Now that, my friends, are
just the multivitamins that are mislabeled. Some experts believe
that we don’t always gain benefits from vitamins
unless they are absorbed into our body along
with the other compounds found in their natural form. So, maybe Vitamin C doesn’t really work unless you digest it with an orange. Also, supplement research
is really difficult to gauge because each of us eats an
incredibly broad variety of foods that can either
help or hinder the absorption of vitamins. Not to mention that the
Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require these supplements to go through the same scrutiny
for safety and efficacy that it does for, say, medicine or drugs. The more we look into it,
the more it seems that multivitamins have no
substantial health benefits, or that their benefits are too small to make much of a difference. Let’s look at a few examples
of how this plays out, starting with folic acid. This is one of those
supplements originally thought to protect the heart and prevent cancer. Now based on a 2008 study out of Harvard, it turns out that too much folic acid may instead promote prostate
and colorectal cancer. And because food companies
add it to grain products, most of us already are getting
our daily value’s worth. But what about Vitamin C? You know, the one we’re supposed to take when we get sick? Well, if you eat foods
that are rich in Vitamin C, it can lower your risk of
heart disease and cancer, but if you simply take it in pill form, it seems to have no benefits. Another vitamin that supposedly prevented heart disease and cancer is Vitamin E. But again, that’s only
in its natural form, and that’s seeds and vegetable oils, where it can also strengthen
the immune system. As a supplement, there’s
no evidence that Vitamin E provides any of its natural benefits. Vitamin A, it’s very
similar in that it doesn’t actually prevent lung
cancer as it’s advertised. In fact, large doses
actually increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Now most of us are already
getting plenty of Vitamin A anyway in eggs, whole
milk, dark, leafy veggies, and orange or yellow fruits. B Vitamins were originally
though to help people with Alzheimer’s Disease, or
even raise your energy levels. But the trial results
have been disappointing with no real evidence that it does either. But B12 is one of the
vitamins that can help supplement an unbalanced diet. It’s good for strict
vegetarians who aren’t getting everything they need
from animal-derived food. But otherwise, you don’t really need it unless you’re pregnant or
facing macular degeneration from old age. Finally, let’s look at Vitamin D. You know, the one we get from the sun? There’s still hope that it
can help with osteoporosis, but the data is inconclusive
since everyone gets different amounts of sun exposure. If you’re already getting
a decent amount of mid-day sun exposure and regularly consume foods like fatty fish, eggs, and
fortified dairy products, you probably don’t need a D supplement. Perhaps, in the future, with
a little forward thinking, we’ll be able to just pop
a pill personally tailored to our nutrition, but as it stands today, your best bet is still
just eat a balanced diet. However, this doesn’t
mean you should run home and pour all your
multivitamins down the toilet. Just do a little research
on what your body needs and whether the pill you’re
taking is actually necessary. With so much evidence stacked
against vitamin supplements, why do you think we still
take them all the time? Let us know what you think
in the comments below, or head over to
to join the conversation. And please, subscribe to
our channel on YouTube. It would make me the
happiest boy in the world. Twinkle.



  • System Crunch

    One cannot dismiss the entire idea he makes some good points. It's good to have some neutral points when making decisions about your health. Ekosi thank for the video. hiyhiy (I use a expensive multivitamin and it works soooooo well)

  • Panthers1521


  • Brian Faltar

    Why does your pee get yellow when you take multi vitamin pills?



  • The Man in the Motorcycle Mask

    What about mineral absorption from multivitamins? and what is the difference between food thata fortified with vitamins and minerals vs taking the pills?

  • S2N Health Hygiene

    Multi-Vitamins are useless for a individual who has a good diet, but this is rare, so we still sell them as they are still useful for quite a lot of people.

  • juan jose escalante

    I hate this videos based on what the guy who is talking… Get real man you cant prove aany of what your speaking…. go learn some physics

  • Cord F

    Its true. Not all Supplements are Created Equal.

    We need to ensure that this 5 Criteria are met

    1. Complete
    2. Balance
    3. Potent
    4. Bioavailable
    5. Safe

  • Bad Vibes

    I thought you just have to eat something with it

  • Mami Nsimba

    I think because of minerals depleted on our soil, taking vitamins supplements with help better our healthy?

  • 335 Pounds to 258.8

    The reason why the useless FDA does not regulate vitamins and supplements, is because when they tried, the supplemental industry lobbied hardcore to stop it, and more people sent letters to Congress to stop a bill to regulate them, then they did for the Vietnam War.

  • Tony Cevallos

    Where can I get that cool shirt??

  • saynow

    most ignorant person exist i ve ever seen

  • FroztiProductions

    I bet the studies had people eating diets that met their needs already or people consuming no vitamins other than suppliments lol

  • Calcaware


  • Jay

    Puritan's Pride is a good brand.

  • Jay

    This video is BS

  • Maikito Official

    I want to know if it's better to crush up the vitamins & snort it , or just take the pill as is….? Thanks

  • Russell Tyrone Jones

    Just smoke cigs they prolong life longer than this idiot will.

  • Jiggery Pokery

    why doesn't anyone talk about if vitamins work like potassium which needs essentially an absurd amount ideally (like 10 bananas worth). So if I eat 4000 mg of potassium and then supplement it with 1000 mg would the vitamin help?

  • Immediate Reviews

    Interesting. The last question "why do we take them?" is probably the most important part…

  • Nick Nick

    Unfortunately were not all perfect YOUNG thirty somethings. I'm sixty. Few teeth. Veggies can be a problem. rheumatoid arthritis for years. I have taken a multi for many years and drink or sprinkle veggie powders. Walking is an issue sinse being an ra sufferer means my feet are out a shape.

  • colin562

    Like so many yt videos…first few minutes was complete waffle and only after that did he get to the Q…we live in a push button world…why do people think that anyone wants lots of fancy footwork…no we just want answers..

  • ikraamIQ

    Good host (Y)

  • P Losack

    3:29 when you turn into an android

  • Efia Serwaa

    i've wasted money
    but i don't understand why my hair is growing since i started taking them

  • Sam Holden

    Just started to take a multivitamin and omega 3 fish oil and feel worse not better.

  • Masters Of Chaos

    Because we can

  • frank brown

    call b.s. on this one. ignores so much research.

  • judaspreistvlct

    I just got cured from an iodine deficiency. Boy was I a complete zombie for the last 6 months! What I thought was P.A.W.S. was actually me not getting any iodine because I wasn't eating anything which had it. Well, I found the strength to get to the grocery store and knew I needed salt, so I saw iodized sea salt, and I figured sure why not? When I got home, I made a plate of spaghetti and salted the water this time and after I got done eating, guess what? I felt myself beginning to snap out of the zombie state I was in! This last week has been perfect. Just like eating a banana every day cured my swollen ankles for good(from standing too long), iodized salt has cured my all day lethargy for the most part. Yeah, I still feel a little tired but not nearly like I was!

  • A Dream

    Only works if you have a deficiency that needs balancing. It'd be like taking painkillers without having any pain otherwise…

  • Anierutan Balaji

    if you live in seattle you need VIT D , period

  • Edward Moran

    I'm happier with my Vitamins thanks.

  • Phazelight

    I think Ill just get a bunch of fruits veggies and nuts etc then put em all in a blender and just try to stomach a potentially nasty drink everyday.

  • tes420

    This garbage propaganda has been brought to you by your good friends @ Agenda 21 & Codex Alimentarius

    Back to sleep now little sheep 🐑😴

  • Christopher Morrissey

    ILL SAVE YOU ALL 5 MINS. THEY DONT DO SHIT. how about showing us all just where you get your information from. what "advertisement company" paid you to say all this. no one does this shit for kicks and giggles. eat chalk you make get more out of it…… at least you can play hop scotch with chalk.

  • Barry Kavanagh

    So your folic acid point has evidence from a ten year old study at Harvard (6 years at the time of this video) yet your vitamin c point has zero evidence or validation? Who proved the pill form had less or no effects than the dietary form?

  • Inna Melnichuk

    Please, provide the PubMed numbers of the research papers that you are talking about.

  • You Need Jesus

    Well I’m pretty sure my B12, calcium, and omega-3 pills are working.

  • Black Shark

    Could it be that this video was promoted by Big Pharma in order to discourage people to take vitamin supplements so that people can be more vitamin deficient and therefore causing more people to get sick so that they then can profit off their illness??

  • A. Mohsin

    And… Ironically I see all kinds of vitamin suggestions under your video

  • gitsurfer27

    This was a good video but why do people always talk about health benefits purely in terms of "preventing cancer and heart disease"? That's a very narrow view on what being healthy means. What about organ, brain, heart and muscle function, hormone balancing, brain chemistry, cell reproduction, fitness, mood, bone health and general well being?

  • mac 187

    Lies i dont make 12 billion dollars a yea asshole


    Man I don't believe anyting I'm going to take my bulshit pills and kill myself

  • MrAtown3057

    1.something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.

    Not vitamin replacement…
    So expect much from just a pill make sure you eat your vegetable kids…

  • Alex Bulat

    I always read the food lamps but it rarely ever mentions some of the vitamins that it is supposed to have or it has very little plus when you cook the food the nutrients go away

  • Kalfax plays

    what about minerals?

  • Andres Henn

    You souldnt open your mouth if youre not shure of what youre saying. No offense intended

  • Sophie Gambill

    I’ve never taken vitamins and I’m skinny, heathy, and 100% fine.

  • GingerSnaps

    I came here to say yes they do work because when I had a blood test done I had to explain the high amount of vitamin d was because of the recommend supplement from my doctor

  • axiom

    if you think taking a supplement is bad (other than overdosing) you may as well believe in unicorns

  • Noobie747

    How to stay healthy without taking multi vitamin oral pills?

  • Timbacto Bros.

    Omega 3?

  • Robert Dress

    Here is why you need to take this video down

  • InfonuZ

    i can say from personal exp vitamin supplements works ..esp b12 zma and 5 htp

  • Take care


  • AriQuinn92

    I can’t stomach sea food so fish is not now nore has it ever been part of my diet, same goes for milk. My father is lactose intolerant so we grew up with lactose free milk in my house. I myself am not lactose intolerant but I can only drink so much milk before it starts making my stomach feel uncomfortable. I don’t throw up or any of the other stuff but I just don’t drink a lot of it. I hate the sun and avoid it at all costs due to horrible migraines and easily to burn skin. So it comes as no shock that my vitamin D was pretty low on my blood work. Also I’ve never been a meat eater, I’m not a vegetarian or anything but I just have never had a taste for stake or any sort of red meat, not to mention my sensitive teeth don’t allow me chew tough meat down properly. I really only eat chicken, so my iodine is also pretty low. I just think that in this day and age almost no one can make sure they hit every recommended vitamin intake every single day for one reason or another. Busy life or medical reason, I don’t see why taking vitamins just to make you u get some sort of vitamins in your system as opposed to potentially letting something drop low to a dangerous level, is being discouraged.

  • Abraham Aguirre

    Hmm I just bought them because I’m anemic and winter is coming and I just couldn’t be bothered to buy two separate pill containers when one container has both (Vit C, Iron)

  • Yvette Rivera

    Wow criticizing Vitamins well I cant totally out that because im Anemic and shot on B Complex Collegen Hand Hair And Nails they All Work

  • Gang Starr

    Yes, they DO work providing you take a good quality supplement. Grabbing a standard, commercialised multi vitamin off the shelf in a supermarket store isn’t likely going to produce any good effects. You’ll have to look into things a little deeper I’m afraid and most likely spend a little more (you really do get what you pay for).

    For example, a fair few vitamins and minerals compete for absorption and some help aid absorption. For example take calcium and zinc. Zinc can’t be absorbed when taken with calcium and vice versa. However vitamin C helps with absorption of zinc. That’s why when I see a multi vit with ‘300mg calcium and 15mg zinc’ in the same tablet I laugh to myself because you won’t gain any benefit what so ever.

    B vitamins for example, you want the Methylcobalamin type of B12 – NOT the Cyanocobalamin B12, this is the shitty manmade version and does not absorb well at all and I can guarantee that 90% of off the shelve, commercialised multi vits/b bits contain the Cyanocobalamin type. I guarantee it.

    Also, any mineral that ends in ‘ide’ (oxide being the main one) throw them in the bin. Useless. Anything that ends in ‘ate’ (citrate, gluconate, glycinate, piconilate) is good and absorbed much better and naturally.

    And lastly, even if your diet is perfect, the quality of soils and meats nowadays impacts the nutrients. Soil is depleted of magnesium and zinc for example. Most farmers have to feed their livestock ‘magnesium bullets’ as the soil just doesn’t provide it anymore. It’s always worth popping a good quality multi vit to fill the gaps.

  • Murat Kalay

    This is such nonsense.

    It's a shame, people like you are leading people to suffer from vitamin deficiencies.

  • JD

    Why would the vitamins from pills work differently? Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me. I'm continuing taking them.

  • stuffguy666

    Being a nutritionist i would say most of the vitamins & minerals you get should be from real whole foods cut out the junk & sugar wait a couple weeks you will notice alot of benefits!

  • CabaL

    If you lost all you hair probably you have or you got some deficiency. Despite the fact that MC is poison, it this world full of contamintans, poison , and poor vitamins foods , some may be beneficial, vitamin C, D and Zinc are common issues. It's not all white or black.

  • Roger Levy

    I feel better when I take Centrum every night. So … I'm just gonna keep on taking it.

  • Ben Stil

    Take chlorella&spirulina

  • Nathan Asgill

    The people in my eyes are confused and don't know what to believe, I mean let's come away from supplements and look at food! What if a banana isn't a banana anymore ,how's ur veg grown ,what's it sprayed with!
    Chicken shop chicken was found to taste like fish because that's all the chicken was ever fed.God damm I believe none of you guys "trust no one source, especially governments".

  • Aaron Locke

    How are we supposed to do research when not a single damn vitamin group can give us a straight answer….

  • peepee9161

    Vitamins don't work, earth is flat, 9/11 was inside job.

  • boston2018

    January in Boston enough sun i dont think so

  • boston2018

    Your hair vitamin aint working

  • Kaka Apa

    OMFG just say yes or no

  • InvestigadorTJ

    Did you see how he handled vitamin A using the state of being a smoker to imply the same effect in increasing cancer in non-smokers.. I mean personally I’m not a smoker so why would that evidence matter to me ?

  • Hey McFly

    What happens if the pill you're taking isn't really efficient but that fact you think it is and the placebo effect makes it actually work ? Think about that.

  • Hey McFly

    So it's like the matrix,we've been lied to by vitamin manufactures ,do I take the red or blue pill ? Well studies suggest the pills won't even work 🙂

  • Steve Forbin

    I use vitamins all my life. and started taking super "B" complex and it healed up cuts and scrapes on my legs very well so I do believe they do have benefits also for circulation and heart health. I also notice a sexual increase of erections and more sexual energy and desire and have been on a regular exercise. I am older in my 70's and trying to make my life last longer and enjoy what I can. It is your life and your choice, make the best of life and live long and prosper. Small price to pay for longer life. I do think vitamins are worth the cost. They don't have be the expensive type. I alternate one a day vitamins with minerals and super "B" complex when I am out doing my walk it helps and I am trying to built some long term endurance. Exercise and circulation is key to good health. No pill can do this so you must be up and active. Wear out or rust out  take your choice. Not much fun laying around like a couch potato and just a matter of time till you take your last breath. You wither each day you don't move. Get up  and out the door just a little more each day and better you long term life. Doing about 5000 to 6000 steps each day and spring is coming will do even more as weather permits. But eat good food and lose to a reasonable weight(check with your  doctor) you will feel better and wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed. Low fats and low carbo's and low sugar are best. Better than a lagging life and aches and pains. It is your body to take care of you. if you don't you won't live as long and your time will be cut short.Be sharp stay sharp and be active. Mother nature likes active guys. Just move you don't have to be gym rat just keep moving.

  • Marius Cristian Ciubotariu

    Our bodies can't tell the difference between vitamin c coming from something we eat and the one we get through a pill. Vitamin c has a molecular structure unique to it and that's how the body recognises it. This is true for all vitamins. The only reason you might be getting benefits from Vitamin c when your body gets it from something you ate is because what you ate contains other vitamins and minerals besides the Vitamin c.

  • Matilde Torres

    this video subject should
    have millions of views.
    when millons of folks USE

  • Matilde Torres

    either way,there's NO
    substitutude for REAL

  • hardassteel

    If you are deficient in something, vitamins will help. You won't know what you are deficient in unless you get thorough bloodwork done.

  • Konrad Gola

    This is total BS. In transformed foods, which most people consume, there is not much left and certainly not many vitamins,
    because the good stuff has been destroyed by transformation!!

  • AmenRaAket

    …stupid is as stupid does…not knowing science has real world consequences , all bad

  • tlanand21

    Alternate Title: Research shows very little or no benefit.

  • Chief Thundrecock

    W A S T E O F T I M E

  • Chris B In Philly

    I take a generic vitamin say 3 days a week. Hopefully the MV gives the 1 or 2 v/m I am missing or low on. Working on the road only provides processed foods during the week even though I eat some fresh fruit. It's not much money. I was told if your body doesn't need or use a certain V/M then it will excrete it so all is safe hopefully.

  • Justin and Selena (jelena)

    You can try this best natural supplement ever just click the link here for more infor >>>

  • Gabriel Castelli

    Dont buy that cheap farmacy vitamin stuff, unless it is a specific deficiency. One should consume the most absorbable forms and for that should look into iherb or Piping Rock. Folic acid is synthetic, its natural form is Folate, and to some people, folic acid just blocks the receptor from absorbing Folate. Also it has little effect without methylcobalamine. B vits work in synergy. Thats why they say you have to eat them fruits and veggies together with vits. But nowadays, we can buy them natural forms of vitamins and minerals. Depending on genetics there is a higher need for some mineral or vit, but if we live in a place that doesn’t naturally provides it, we supplement, ex: italians in Brazil lack magnesium which is abundant in Italy. Also processed food has little to none minerals and vitamins… and bad habits consume them too, like excess masturbation and drugs

  • Phantom Ninjazz.

    I want some vitamin pills but my mom doesn’t allow me to have it and say i need to eat fruit and greens. I don’t like greens pears are okay to me
    But i don’t wanna eat alot of fruit so i want to get the pills, i hope they have them in denmark.

  • szs voc

    vitamins have zero regulations= they are pure trash,!


    because it's better to have it, then have not enough unknowingly 🙂

  • Scooby Girl

    My vitamins work. My favorite is polynerve for my carpal tunnel syndrome.

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