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Weighing the pros and cons of multivitamins

Rochester, N.Y. - An athlete all her life, Sally Wilkins has come to rely on vitamins.

All my life I've heard vitamins are good for you, Wilkins said.

But in a recent study says otherwise.

In it, two researchers say vitamins have no proven benefit and in some cases can cause harm.

The researchers even go as far to say consumers who buy multivitamins are wasting their money.

But Sarah Guilbert, a dietitian with the University of Rochester Medical makes the argument that vitamins are very much needed.

I like to view vitamins as ways to fill in the gap, maybe you're someone who doesn't have a balanced diet, so maybe taking a multivitamin would be good for you, Guilbert said.

A gap vegetarian Betty Palma said that she needs to fill with iron supplements.

I have more energy with the iron, the iron is very important. I didn't believe I was that low but when you don't eat animals or animal by-products you tend to be deficient, Palma said.

But I think as you get older your body needs some things and maybe your diet isn't the greatest, Wilkins said.

Guilbert said vitamins aren't for everyone.

The typical person, if you're having a healthy diet shouldn't jump to the assumption that they need to put even more nutrients into their body, Guilbert said.

Guilbert said there's a smart way to eat by eating a half a plate of fruits and veggies a day and a smart way to supplement, but you have to evaluate your own diet and talk to your doctor.

Guilbert also says to be on the lookout for vitamins with false claims.

I would really be careful about the brands that you trust and also don't believe any brand claims about something, Guilbert said.

Guilbert says look out for products with a USP logo to ensure theyre reputable.


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Washington Times