3 Reasons Multi-Vitamins Cause More Harm Than Good

3 Reasons Multi-Vitamins Cause More Harm Than Good

Here are my top 3 Reasons Multi-Vitamins Cause More Harm Than Good.

Everywhere you turn these days someone is touting the importance of taking a multi-vitamin from doctors to health coaches and everything in between. I even bought into this myth myself at one point in time.

The reasoning is that even with a healthy diet, you’re still not getting enough nutrients from your food.

But what if you learned that this advice has led to even more health problems and has greatly contributed to more disease states than ever before?

Here’s Why Multi-Vitamins Cause More Harm Than Good:

Nutrients are powerful. Don’t assume that just because it’s a “natural” vitamin/mineral that it’s safe to take. Folate/folic acid is a great example of a vitamin that’s in just about every supplement available today, as well as fortification of food. Folate can do a lot of damage especially if you suffer from cancer, depression, or any other cognitive impairment. You can read more about folate here.

We are all biochemically unique. As humans beings, we exhibit great diversity in blood and brain chemistry and because of genetics and epigenetics, most people are deficient in several nutrients and overloaded in others. Unfortunately, I still see a lot of practitioners prescribing based on their own point-of-view and this just makes the patient worse over time. Before I found my current doctors, the naturopath I was working with put me on a multi-vitamin, 5-HTP for depression, and a B vitamin complex. All of them contained folate and the multi-vitamin contained folate and copper. As an undermethylated individual with copper overload, these nutrients were definitely making me feel worse. I spent another 2 years suffering from massive depression and oxidative stress because of this approach.

More harm is done by taking too much than not taking anything at all. And yet we’re a pill-popping society that thrives on the latest and greatest health trend, so what do we do? We go out and buy more stuff to consume because this doctor and that celebrity endorsed it (just because J Lo is on the box doesn’t mean it’s healthy or even good for you). Keep in mind that nutrients (from food and supplements) greatly influence epigenetic regulation of genes; so I encourage you to save your money and work with a practitioner that really understands biochemistry, and the importance of nutrient-specific protocols.

Now here are your actions steps:
  1. Take an inventory of all the supplements you are currently taking.
  2. Ask yourself why you are taking them and notate any reactions (good or bad) you experience as a result.

Do you take multi-vitamins? I’d love to know what your experience has been in the comments below!

Comments 40

  1. Hi Samantha,

    Since childhood, I’ve always suffered from Migraines (I’m 55 now). I was taking “Alive” Once a Day vitamins for Men, but they were causing me headaches and at times migraines. I just came across your posts via another link (by luck) and really enjoy reading what you have to say about nutrition. What foods/diet would you recommend for me? Thank you.

    Kind regards,

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      Hi Esteban,
      Thank you, I’m so glad you are enjoying my posts. Migraines can be caused by a multitude of things, so there’s no way I can make a recommendation without a complete assessment first. If you are interested in becoming a client, please email my assistant Shannon at info@samanthagilbert.com and she’ll get you set up.

  2. Hi Samantha,

    I’m actually taking a PreNatal vitamin because I thought it was almost “mandatory” as part of the pre-pregnancy process. I’m feeling fine. Can I get the necessary folic acid from alternative natural food sources?


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      Hi Stacy,
      I can’t advise you one way or the other without a complete assessment, but I would encourage you to look into high folate vegetables as natural sources.

  3. I am taking Melaleuca vitamin supplements and I vould immediately tell within a week that I felt the difference. Prior to taking these supplements, I got sick at the holidays 3 years in a row and it took weeks to recover. However, for the last two years I have not been sick at all.

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      That’s wonderful Darlene! Thank you for sharing your story and I’m so glad you found what works for you!

  4. I find that if I take a B-100 complex daily, I am more likely to be in a great mood, and my energy level stays high all day. B-vitamin deficiency has been a problem in my family, especially in relation to depression. My daughter suffered from depression for years. Without vitamins, she would have a “bad” day 80-90% of the time at school. Give her a B-complex with breakfast, and she will have a “good” day 80-90% of the time. Every body is different, but this is one thing I swear by–at least, for us!

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    2. If you have anxiety disorder and or PTSD like I do you had better stay the hell away from multivitamins because it will make your problems much worse especially if they contain folate or folic acid . And both D and B vitamins will also make it worse and it will also affect you sleep pattern

      1. I have ptsd. Was a crime victim. Vitamin B made my depression dangerously worse. I became dizzy, confused, barely able to function- and suicidal. I was shocked that a vitamin could do this!

      2. I totally agree. I recently tapered from my zoloft and was feeling much better after about six weeks. My hair has been thinning due to telegen effluvium from anxiety and stress and my dermatologist told me to try 5000 mg of biotin once a day. Almost immediately my anxiety worsened and I developed insomnia. I just stopped taking them today, so I’m hopeful that I’ll feel back to normal soon.

  5. Synthetic vitamins are not good for us, and its taken awhile to work this out, hopefully one day they will stop forcing them down our throats by fortifying them in all our foods.

  6. After reading this great article I’m afraid to take another supplement until I know for sure what I need, just for “me”. How does one begin the journey of these answers?

  7. hi, i am currently taking 1000mg cod liver oil, multivitamins and iron, high strength vitamin D, along with 150mg trazadone, 10mg diazapam, i take these daily, and i am a 29yr old female, and 3 stone over weight, i decided to get active and take vitamins to help with my anxiety and panic disorder, but within a week of starting these, i feel terrible, faint, whoozy, pins and needles constantly in my hands and feet, also my finger nails have changed a dark peachy colour at the tips, i dont see my doctor for another 2 weeks, could something be seriously wrong?

  8. I am taking a B complex with folate because I am extremely folate deficient ( found that out from an OAT .) What do you do if you are folate deficient but are not supposed to take folate? I am an undermethylator…

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  9. Hi Samantha,

    I just found your website, and it brought me some relief to know it’s not all in my head. Any vitamim b supplement, even as a part of multi, makes me depressed. I don’t understand why, and no naturapth that I met understands me. Do you know what kind of multi would be recommended for people like me? I feel like there is something wrong me. Most supplements make me feel off..

    1. The same happened to me. I am still confused that a vitamin can cause such a negative reaction! When I tried to talk to my doctor, she rolled her eyes, and said she’d never ever heard of that! I’ve had to be my own advocate and do my own research. B can make some of us depressed – and feeling crazy!

    2. I have this same reaction to b vitamins and a nutritionist told me it is due to the MTHRFR gene mutation. I now take a methylated B vitamin supplement and feel AMAZING.

  10. I have been suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression for a month now. I came across this. I noticed that around the first time I felt “extremely sad”, was few days after I took a Women’s Daily Supplement from Healthy Options. It contains Folic Acid, which I wanted to take as I am planning to get pregnant. Is this related? Thank you.

  11. I suffer from insomnia and anxiety and depression. I can relate very much to being undermethylated and having a copper overload. Multivitamins do not do me good. However, protein rich food does help. I started to read about Ajurveda personality types and wanted to ask you if I can take the info from there to stabilize myself.

  12. I did a google search to try and find out what vitamins or supplements can make you moody. I’ve been extremely moody and lacking patience lately and wonder if it’s due to my new regime of taking vitamins. My list is this … garlic, DHEA, Vitamin B complex, turmeric cucurim, brain smart and multi collagen. Could any of these be causing this ?? Thank you !!

  13. hello mam actually i am non smoker now i quitted 1.5 yrs ago but from that i started anxiety and panic attacks it comes and goes in month to month after long time i checked that in blood test my homocyctien levels is raised up by 59.72 which is so much in consider my b12 is so low like 12 or 14 something even vit d deficiency my bones are cracking i am taking multv in good dose with 1.5mg of folic in it and b6 b12 and also some b in it with copper selenium iron magnese i am afraid cause i have anxiety so wen i took that capsules for 30 minutes my anxiety and puplitations raise but by time its subside a bit what should i do plz help i checked all of symptoms plz mail me

  14. Hi Samantha, how do you know if you’re taking too many supplements? I was recently methylated by my practitioner, and placed on 16 herbal supplements. I feel like I have the most energy I have had in a long time, but there are other things I’m experiencing that have me concerned I am taking too many. I have pains under my left arm, stomach aches, etc. so are these harmful or helpful?
    Thanks, Megan

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      Hi Megan – thanks for sharing your experience. Unfortunately, I cannot advise you without consultation and testing. I’m not sure what you mean by “methylated by my practitioner.” Do you mean you were properly tested as undermethylated and your practitioner advised nutrients to bring methyl into your system?

  15. I am anemic due to being very stupid and skipping meals and running round after others.I had every symptom.fainted,erratic heartbeat.was diagnosed as being very anemic although I had started to improve due to starting to eat fruit,veg,meat normally again.I decided to help it along with multivitamins.I am now stopping taking them as they are having a negative effect on me.I’ve been told by my Dr its an overload as my weight has gone up through sensible eating etc etc.never again will I touch a multivitamin

  16. Last year January 2019 my Dr put me on Fusion Plus The B-12 shot (once every month) and Vitamin D tablets(1 every week). I started feeling bad having headaches mouth pain muscle pain & stomach pain. Oh yea also getting mouth sores on the inside of my mouth and rashes on my back.
    I went to a new doctor & she took me off the shot & vitamin D. She said my vitamin levels were dangerously high.
    But I’m still on the Fusion.
    Will my body ever get back to normal from all the stuff I was on??

  17. I am on Lexapro at 10 mg per day and have been for years. I’ve tried to phase out but have not been so successful but that is another story.
    I have MTHFR(two mutations) and take 400 mcg of folate and 50 mcg of methyl cobalamin 3 days per week (its a b complex) Can the combination of these cause over methylation? I take to help bring my homocysteine levels down too and also had an explained blood clot years ago which help me realize my MTHFR.

    It is very difficult to find the balance. I have upper body pain that I associate with osteoarthritis of the neck etc. Then again, I hear overmethylation can cause upper body pain too. Any thoughts on this? Rod 63

  18. I’m so glad I found this article. I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins and biotin for years now, as I have been either continually breastfeeding or pregnant. I always assumed my depression was from prenatal or postpartum. I have never taken antidepressants, but just suffering through. I went about a week without vitamins last month: partially because my rx wasnt filled, and partially I was so depressed and apathetic. And my entire mood changed- I felt like the old me again! Sure enough, as soon as I started taking the prenatals again, I fell into a depressed lethargy. My husband (a biologist) suggested I experiment again. I’ve been off of all vitamins for 4 days now and feel wonderful- I smile again! Only problem is, I’m 6.5 months pregnant…

  19. The information were very useful. Synthetic folic and b almost destroy me. Thank God I was sensitive enough to stop. Then how do one get them off the body.

  20. I can confirm this hypothesis from my personal experience. Multivitamins have caused the flaring of my anxiety on multiple occasions, for many years. It only takes one Multi to trigger my anxiety response.

  21. My doctor put me on deplin which is a prescription activated folate for people with a mutation.it is supposed to be beneficial when added to an antidepressant, I just don’t know if I’m supposed to take such thing for life and because it’s a vitamin I believe my doctor won’t know all those details.
    Im wondering are there ways to get supplements that have vitamins coming purely from foods but in large amounts? I mean non synthetic but also not just 100 of %dv ?
    My brain needs healing and because no medication truly cures ( they treat not cute) anything I put some hope on many supplements such as Nac , magnesium , very strong multivitamins , just added omegas , take SAMe , activated b6, methyl b12 ,I added omegas and cq10 ubiquinol Take also a supplement with ashwaganda, rhodiola and ginseng .. I’m just desperate for a clearer mind and energy

  22. This is really interesting. I started taking a daily multivitamin about 8 months ago because I have several food sensitivities and I was concerned I wasn’t getting enough nutrients in my food. After about 6 weeks of feeling really depressed and having a difficult time managing day to day activities, it finally occurred to me (after a completely irrational crying meltdown) that the depression started when I began taking the multivitamin. I immediately stopped and my depression noticeably improved quickly. It never dawned on me that a vitamin might make me feel worse.

  23. I just recently started taking supplements like Biotin, B12, Calcium, Tumeric, PQQ, NAD+, Vitamin C, Magnesium, fish oil, etc. I am ALWAYS a happy, bubbly person and lately I have been depressed, feeling hopelessness, discontent, etc. I’m not sure what is wrong, but after reading this article I think it has to be related to something I am taking. Any ideas on what it could be?

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