The List's Exclusive Survey Reveals How Many Vitamins And Supplements People Take Every Day

Living a healthy lifestyle is a common goal for a majority of people, but for many it becomes hard to maintain. It can be difficult to find time for work, a social life, and responsibilities at home and with family — all while sustaining your physical and mental health. Most people don't have time to visit the gym after work or cook that nutritious meal recipe they saw on TikTok, even if they really want to. That's why it's hard to pass up a pill that promises to cure all ailments. The vitamin and supplement industry markets to our desire for healthy living and convenience, selling health in a convenient little pill.

According to The Washington Post, the United States spends $35 billion each year on "vitamins, minerals, and botanicals." Vitamins are essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but how often should you actually be adding supplemental vitamins to your diet? To find out if people actually use these miracle pills, The List conducted a survey asking 573 people, "How many vitamins and supplements do you typically take per day?"

Vitamins and supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years

According to The List's survey, 25.13% of people take two vitamins and supplements on a daily basis. 21.82% take only one vitamin or supplement each day, and over 20% of voters admitted to not taking any. Over 16% of people add three vitamins and supplements to their diet, while another 7.33% say four is the magic number. 9.60% of people who responded to The List's survey take five or more vitamins and supplements on a daily basis.

A study conducted by the American Osteopathic Association revealed that 86% of Americans add at least one vitamin or supplement to their diet, but only 24% of them have a "nutritional deficiency" that requires additional vitamins. The question then becomes: are the other 62% of people still benefiting from taking supplements, or is there such a thing as too many vitamins? Are they just wasting their money on placebos?

Are vitamins and supplements actually worth the money?

In 2019, the Council for Responsible Nutrition conducted a survey that identified the most popular dietary supplements purchased in the United States. In order, consumers most frequently purchased "multivitamins, vitamin D, vitamin C, protein, calcium, vitamin B or vitamin B complex, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea, magnesium, probiotics, iron, vitamin E, and turmeric." (Via National Library of Medicine). While all of these elements are beneficial for the body, there are only a few vitamins your body needs on a daily basis. With the exception of specific medical cases, most nutrient-rich foods contain the necessary vitamins needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle, per LiveScience.

According to scientists at Northwestern Medicine, over-the-counter vitamins and supplements are unnecessary "because there isn't enough evidence they help prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer." Scientists have not found much evidence that vitamin supplements provide more benefits than maintaining a well-balanced diet, deciding that most are simply a waste of money. It could also be potentially dangerous. According to the AMA Journal of Ethics, there are plenty of unregulated vitamins on the market that promise health benefits without scientific backing — and could contain harmful additives. So before you invest in a year's worth of supplements or a personalized vitamin subscription, consider looking up which foods you can snack on that contain the vitamins you need.