Why ordinary one-a-day multi-vitamins are not effective

A simple one-a-day vitamin and mineral pill, at merely RDA levels, is not enough – especially for older people (50+). Because, after this age, people’s nutritional needs increase at the very time that their ability to absorb and utilise vital nutrients starts to decrease.
RDAs are established at ‘adequate’ levels to prevent deficiency diseases – like scurvy or rickets – not at optimised levels to counteract accumulated damage. Adequate is not optimum.
All of which is why many doctors dismiss inexpensive, RDA based, A-Z supplements as largely ineffective.
And that scepticism is supported by research – there is little evidence that multi-vitamins alone reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer.

That’s because they have been separated from other elements that make a plant-based diet unquestionably healthy – the other elements being plant micro-nutrients like carotenoids, isoflavones and flavonoids – along with fibre.

Omega 3 is another nutrient that has been separated from other elements in its original environment. As long ago as 2015 Dr Paul Clayton stated that: “Taking fish oil on its own as a magic-bullet single supplement just doesn’t work.”.

Of course, that insight has now been supported by the latest research. But it doesn’t mean that Omega 3 isn’t a very valuable nutrient to take. It is – so long as it is combined with other bio-active nutrients – including marine micro-nutrients as it would be in nature.

So a combination is the key.

Back to Dr Paul Clayton conclusions →