South Africa: Most Doctors Agree - You Don't Need Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

analysis

The wellness industry is a multi-billion dollar behemoth promising optimal health through supplementation and other methods. Does science back their claims?

"The marketing and selling of multivitamins, and supplements to the general population is perhaps one of the most successful marketing ploys of pharmaceutical companies since we started making medicine. If you have a normally working gut and you do not have a severe malabsorption disease, or if you don't have a documented vitamin deficiency, like vitamin D or vitamin B12, you do not need routine vitamin supplementation," says Cape Town-based endocrinologist, Dr Jocelyn Hellig.

"Our stance on that as a medical fraternity is quite clear: there is no evidence for routine multivitamin supplementation in people who do not have documented vitamin deficiencies, or a malabsorption syndrome."

Dr Jacques Badenhorst, a gastroenterologist based at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital agrees: "If you have a proven vitamin deficiency, then by all means replace your vitamin levels. But this whole emphasis on micronutrients and replacing them, that's just nonsense because most people get in whatever nutrients they need from a normal diet. If you're following a specific diet, like, let's say you're vegan, then you know that you're not getting your...

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