The other day I met someone who was eager to share his diet with me. He quickly whipped out a sheet from his pocket, which listed all of the fruits and vegetables he consumed on that particular day. I was so excited! The list included several cups of cantaloupe, a couple handfuls of spinach, some tomato and broccoli. Considering some of the diets I’ve seen during my time as an RD, I was immensely impressed. Soon afterwards I realized he was actually showing me what was “in his multivitamin”. He was taking something that claimed to provide the equivalent amount of nutrients as all of those fruits and veggies in one pill. Yikes.
Bottom Line: Use supplements as they are intended to be used; to supplement the diet, and fill in the gaps. Do not use them to make up for an unhealthy diet, because it just won’t work. Are products, such as the one this guy was taking, harmful? No, but they could indirectly be harmful if you are neglecting fruits and vegetables because of them.