The irrationality of multivitamin use

Multivitamin and mineral supplements are advised or self-prescribed in the hope that they’ll prevent disease and improve health. But do they help at all? Evidence from medical science tells another story.

Did you know that the common belief in taking a daily vitamin dose for good health and chronic disease prevention arose not from any scientific study, but from a product called “One-A-Day Vitamins” introduced in the 1940s by an Indiana-based private company called Miles Laboratories?

Today, when multivitamin supplement use is much more common, how much do we understand about these pills that we pop into our mouths with such regularity?

The many definitions

The US National Institutes of Health’s State of the Science Panel defines a multivitamin/mineral (MVM) pill as “a supplement containing three or more vitamins and minerals …


Cyriac Abby Philips

Cyriac Abby Philips is a highly cited, acclaimed and award-winning liver disease specialist and clinician-scientist based at The Liver Institute, Rajagiri Hospital, Kochi. His seminal research includes the introduction of healthy donor stool transplant for patients battling severe alcohol-related liver disease. He has also authored disruptive peer-reviewed publications on Ayush-related liver injury and herbal and dietary supplements.