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Benefits of a Multivitamin Might Be In Your Mind, Says Study

A new study finds that popular vitamins and supplements might be a waste of money.

According to one study, 86% of Americans take either a vitamin or a supplement. However, just 24% of those who are taking one have received test results confirming they have a nutritional deficiency. The question is, do these multivitamins and supplements actually offer health benefits? According to one new study, published in BMJ Open, the benefits may be all in your mind. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

The Study Shows Users Say They Feel Better Despite No Measurable Health Improvements

The study, conducted by Manish Paranjpe, a student at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and a team of researchers, used CDC data gathered from 20,000 people. According to their findings those that people who pop the daily pill claim to have "excellent" or "very good" health — 30% more often than people who don't take them. Then, they looked at the data and found that the supplements didn't really impact their health. In fact, there were no differences in whether they required help with routine activities, had a health history that included any of 10 chronic diseases and 19 acute conditions, or experienced psychological distress in the past month.

"MVM users self-reported better overall health despite no apparent differences in clinically measurable health outcomes," the study concluded. "These results suggest that widespread use of multivitamins in adults may be a result of individuals' positive expectation that multivitamin use leads to better health outcomes or a self-selection bias in which MVM users intrinsically harbour more positive views regarding their health."

"The effect of positive expectations in [those who take multivitamin/mineral supplements] is made even stronger when one considers that the majority of [them] are sold to the so-called 'worried-well'," they added in a press release. "The multibillion-dollar nature of the nutritional supplement industry means that understanding the determinants of widespread [multivitamin/mineral] use has significant medical and financial consequences."

RELATED: What Taking a Multivitamin Every Day Does To Your Body

Eating Healthy and Exercise Have Been Proven to Boost Your Health

Fortunately, there are other things you can do for your health that don't require splurging on an expensive vitamin. Eating healthy and exercising are both scientifically endorsed tools that can help you reap a variety of health benefits. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more