The week i went vegetarian (at 11 years old) was the week i began heavily supplementing.

I would take up to 13 supplements throughout the day to “really make sure i was getting what I needed.” Because, you know, I’d decided to be vegetarian, and if you were vegetarian you couldn’t get enough of this and that (iron, b12, protein, and on and on) just from your diet right? 😉
So i supplemented. (Two years later, I’d like to mention, I was diagnosed juvenile arthritis.) I continued daily supplementing, spending hundreds and hundreds every year on the stuff, until I began a purely plant-based diet 9 years ago (I was vegan 7 years prior to that).

I stopped supplementing, then, and I’ve never felt healthier. I didn’t need to supplement before, during or after pregnancy, either, by the way. 😉

This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about supplements, but I bet you’re wondering where multivitamins fall on the spectrum.

Are they doing my body some good? Am I causing my body harm? Am I actually just wasting my money?

In 2012, the Harvard Physicians’ Study II shared results from a decade-long randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial with thousands of participants. Half were given multivitamins and half placebos.

In 10 years, researchers observed no difference between the control group and multivitamin group in terms of effect on heart attack, stroke and mortality.

The Harvard study did caution, however, that multivitamins are probably distracting us from properly addressing more serious medical issues. Heart disease doesn’t care if we take a multivitamin or not—but it does respond to meaningful lifestyle changes.

Another recent study explored the possible link between multivitamin use and cancer protection or recovery. More than twenty trials followed over 90,000 people—and found no influence on mortality one way or the other. 

Not terribly exciting, but not bad news either! Better off knowing that multivitamins don’t do anything at all than finding out they’re doing serious damage, right?

In the end, there is no consistent evidence that multivitamins do anything good—or anything bad!—for our health. They don’t protect against heart disease, or increase risk. They don’t contribute to cancer prevention, or detract. They don’t make us live longer, or shorter.

Why? It seems probable that a kind-of-random assortment of vitamins and minerals taken out of their natural form (plant based foods) isn’t quite up to the task of delivering our bodies everything they need.

What’s the alternative? To get everything we need from nature—just like we always have. 

You understand this concept but don’t really know how to implement it into yours and your families kitchen? In my latest book (click here >)HEALTHY, SEXY, VEGAN MUMMA I show you how to discover the best health of your life as you live and eat in harmony with your body. Check it out now!

For life,


 Michael Greger M.D.
E. Guallar, S. Stranges, C. Mulrow, L. J. Appel, E. R. Miller. Enough is enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements. Ann Intern Med. 2013 159(12):850 – 851.
H. Macpherson, A. Pipingas, M. P. Pase. Multivitamin-multimineral supplementation and mortality: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2013 97(2):437 – 444
S. Rautiainen, L. Wang, J. M. Gaziano, H. D. Sesso. Who uses multivitamins? A cross-sectional study in the Physicians’ Health Study. Eur J Nutr. 2013 [Epub ahead of print].
L. Anekwe. Daily multivitamins do not protect against cardiovascular events, finds study. BMJ. 2012 345:e7599.