Vitamins: Fact or Fiction

While sitting at my desk I watched my roommate struggle to take vitamins out of a bottle. I asked him why he was taking them. He said it was because he needed to fill the dietary gaps in his diet. This made me wonder whether or not we reaped the benefits of dietary supplements. When looking into this I found a study done by Harvard that discussed the reality of whether vitamin supplements were good or bad for you.

In these studies, the Null Hypothesis would be that dietary supplements do nothing, whereas the Alternative Hypothesis would be that Vitamins have a positive impact on personal health. Although certain health and wellness magazines swear by vitamins and endorse them as being a daily essential, the article explains that the studies used to justify their claims are faulty. These studies are not experimental, rather observational. This means that they did not test the vitamin against a placebo control group, so there is no real evidence that the supplement does any good at all. Certain vitamins that were observed and were thought to have been beneficial to those with heart conditions actually went on to cause bleeding strokes. In fact, most vitamin supplements are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

I also found an article on WebMD that discussed the findings in three separate studies that were conducted to assess the validity of vitamin supplements. After comparing the results from the placebo administered and the vitamin, they found that there was little to no health benefit from consuming the dietary supplement. From this we can assume that we are agreeing with the Null Hypothesis that the dietary supplements do not have an effect on personal health. Does this mean that Vitamins are bad for us? No absolutely not. However, this does tell us that we shouldn’t merely replace a major portion of our diet with a vitamin.


Picture Source:

6 thoughts on “Vitamins: Fact or Fiction

  1. Samantha Francesca Sichenze

    Great job! Interesting topic with factual details behind it. Although I agree that it would probably be better to get the vitamins from the natural food we eat, as college students, however, we often don’t eat when we should and what we should. We eat later than we should because we are trying to finish our homework before dinner. We are eating unhealthy because we don’t have someone to tell us not to and it’s always available to us. In this article,, it explains the challenges college students face relating to their health. Due to the study, I will not replace vitamins for natural foods, however, it wouldn’t hurt to take the vitamins as well, to make sure our body stays healthy.

  2. Mairead Donnard

    This is definitely an interesting topic to blog about. Almost everyday over the past few years I have consumed Ester-C in order to avoid getting sick. I have found that when I take this vitamin supplement, I typically do not get sick even when the people around me are sick. With this being said, I swear by this particular vitamin, but to an extent. I would not replace consuming food with vitamin-c with this vitamin. I agree with the studies in that it is important to not let these vitamins replace certain foods in a diet, rather vitamins should complement one’s diet.

  3. Jessica Heckler

    Great blog topic!! This caught my eye because when I moved into college my mom insisted on me taking vitamins with me, knowing that my diet would not be as well balanced living in a dorm as it once was. I also usually drink a breakfast drink in the morning to provide my body with the protein and vitamins it needs to start off the day. I have always questioned the validity of vitamins too and this blog uncovered some interesting findings to me. It is a little concerning that these studies are only observational because generally the people who take vitamins believe that they are doing something good for their body and this will influence their reports on whether the vitamins are helping them or not.
    I almost feel like taking vitamins is sort of like the placebo effect in some cases. If the person taking the vitamin believes it is doing something good for their health, then they will feel healthier altogether! However, even though vitamins may not have any real benefits, since they have not harmed me yet, I am going to continue to take them everyday because maybe they are doing something really beneficial that scientists have not discovered yet. They’re not hurting me any, so might as well continue to take them!

  4. Lucas Thomas Hansen

    What’s up, Victor. This article caught my eye because I take dietary supplements myself. I agree that vitamins are not the best complete substitution for everyone’s diet. However, vitamins are proven to support the health of the immune system to help fight sicknesses. It is nearly impossible to consume every food that contains all the vitamins beneficial to our health so it could certainly be beneficial to take dietary supliments. In this web MD article it gives a list of every vitamin beneficial to living healthy and what types of food they are found in. Just giving you my opinion on the topic, hope maybe it could change your view.

  5. Hannah Margaret Mears

    This post is very intriguing because i have had multiple friends try to use supplements to replace meals in order to lose weight. I always cautioned them that these could actually harm them and not help them but they would never believe me. I am a strong believer in the fact that instead of relying on dietary supplements to lose weight, why not just go to the gym and start burning calories? It all comes back to laziness really, but it is essential to balance a diet with exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So why is it that people keep going back to supplements? Perhaps they would just rather try the easy way out before actually exercising. If people want to be fit then exercising is clearly the better choice but if they want to just shed a few pounds diet pills are not necessarily the wrong choice, however they have more side effects. I found an article that names the pros and cons of both and it is clear that exercise is the better dieting option. LINK I do think though that more experiments need to be done to prove health benefits and risks of these pills for sure before eliminating them completely. Just merely observational studies may not be enough to rely on a theory entirely.

  6. Zihan Wang

    Hi, Victor William Gregory. Vitamins are basic physical elements to support human’s action. You refer too much class material in blog such as placebo control group, and observational study. There is not most vitamin supplement confirmed by FDA states in article. I think you did well in research and combine class knowledge to blog. I know that even vitamin is important for people, but we aren’t supposed to merely replace diet portion with vitamin. Our body need diverse nutrition to grow up, and vitamin is just a part of them. Because there is no experiment from now on, only observation is not reliable enough that vitamin is benefit for human.
    Here is a video related to your topic

Leave a Reply