People are increasingly getting their vitamins through supplements rather than diet alone. While supplements are necessary for certain groups of people, such as pregnant women and individuals taking certain medications, researchers are investigating whether such supplements are effective in providing nutritional support for the general population, many of whom continue taking vitamins as part of a complete diet in hopes of living a healthier life.
— Lea Thali, Nia Creator
I think it is important to take vitamins, because most average people aren't getting the proper nutrients through their diets. Being a vegetarian, I especially find it important to take vitamins, because I otherwise wouldn't be getting nutrients I need. I think it's better to take vitamins than not.
While the overall body of research is a bit ambiguous, it seems clear that people should first make sure their diets are good, because there's no replacing a good diet.
From there, if there are known deficiencies and/or the patient is pregnant, taking vitamins are important.
It's not clear if vitamins help beyond that — if they help, they help only a little. That being said, clearly there are risks of taking too many vitamins from megadoses. Balance is important.
Whether or not a person should take vitamins totally depends on their individual situation. A healthy person with no deficiencies probably has no need for vitamin supplements. However, people with deficiencies or in situations such as pregnancy or poverty could truly benefit from vitamin supplementation.
You should try to meet your nutritional needs from a natural diet, but if there is a serious deficiency, then supplements aren't necessarily wrong as long as they're not a substitute for a proper diet and have been discussed with your doctor.
There is a risk of megadoses for people who believe that more vitamins equals better health. However, as long as people are well informed and being careful with the dosage of the vitamins they're taking, I believe that vitamins are safe. Vitamins help a lot of people get certain nutrients which they lack in what they eat due to dietary restrictions and access to certain types of food.
It seems based on the research that vitamins and minerals can be beneficial as a supplement to a healthy diet but not as a replacement for a healthy diet.
Vitamins have not been shown to have health benefits for the average person. If you are pregnant, taking medication that depletes vitamins, or are on a restricted diet, it might make sense to take supplements, but otherwise people should avoid these costly tablets. If you find that you are deficient in a vitamin, try to modify your diet rather than resorting to these synthesized supplements.