Why Multivitamins Cause More Harm Than Good

Everywhere you look these days, someone is touting the importance of taking a multivitamin from doctors to health coaches and everything in between. The reasoning is that even with a healthy diet, you’re still not getting enough nutrients from your food.

But what if this advice has led to even more health problems than ever before?

Why Multi-Vitamins Are Harmful

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

We are all biochemically unique.

As human beings, we exhibit great diversity in blood and brain chemistry. 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 faulty testing methods such as MTHFR, which just makes the patient worse over time. Before I found my current doctors, the naturopath I was working with put me on a multivitamin, 5-HTP for depression, and a B vitamin complex. All of them contained folic acid; the multivitamin contained both folic acid and copper. As an undermethylated individual with copper overload, these nutrients made me feel worse. I spent another two 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 thriving 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. 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.

How to Evaluate Your Multivitamins

  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!


42 thoughts on “Why Multivitamins Cause More Harm Than Good”

  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,

    1. 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?


    1. 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. Darlene McCullough

    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.

    1. 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!

    1. Hi Renee,
      I’m so glad you figured out what works best for you and your family. Keep up the great work!

    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?

    1. I’m not a doctor, but I’d imagine a blood test. Low levels of B or D can cause a slew of mental and sleep issues.

      I also have been under the assumption that you body just excreted the vitamins it didn’t need. This is first I’ve been reading about negative effects of vitamins and supplements. 😞🔫 depression and anxiety for two years now due to a few big life events. Kind of think the crazy amount of supplants and vitamins I’ve been taking have hindered me from recovering.

  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…

  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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Schedule a Free One-on-One Consultation

If you’re ready to start your healing journey, schedule your free one-on-one consultation to discuss your current mental and/or physical health challenges, history, and desired health goals. Take the first step on your healing journey today.

Scroll to Top