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Research reveals multivitamin consumption does not impact life expectancy

woman taking multivitamins

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveals that daily multivitamin use may not significantly extend life expectancy in healthy adults, despite its popularity among one-third of U.S. adults. This extensive research, spanning over two decades with nearly 400,000 participants, challenges the common belief that multivitamins can enhance longevity.

Study findings on multivitamins and longevity

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, found no substantial link between regular multivitamin consumption and reduced mortality risks. This includes deaths related to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Despite these findings, the study acknowledges that multivitamins may still benefit specific groups, particularly those unable to meet their daily nutritional needs through diet alone.

Who might benefit from multivitamins?

Experts suggest that while multivitamins might not prevent chronic diseases, they can benefit individuals with specific nutritional needs. Populations such as the elderly or those with conditions like gastrointestinal disorders, which hinder nutrient absorption, might find value in daily supplementation to prevent micronutrient deficiencies.

Healthy alternatives to multivitamins

Health professionals emphasize the importance of obtaining nutrients from a diverse, whole-foods-based diet rather than relying solely on supplements. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains not only provide essential vitamins and minerals but also offer other health-promoting compounds like fiber and polyphenols. The Mediterranean and Blue Zone diets are highlighted as exemplary models that promote longevity and overall health through nutrient-dense, plant-based foods.

In instances where dietary variety is limited by factors such as accessibility or economic constraints, multivitamins can serve as a practical option to help individuals meet their nutritional requirements.


While the NIH study suggests that multivitamins do not significantly increase lifespan, they remain a valuable tool for certain individuals. Consulting with health care providers can help tailor dietary and supplement choices to meet personal health needs and circumstances, ensuring a balanced approach to nutrition and wellness.