I have always been easily convinced when it comes to the nutritional value of vitamins. I just want to believe they're miraculous. If someone tells me that a vitamin will help me sleep  or cure my headaches, I'll take it. At this point I've tried almost every vitamin Walgreens has to offer; gummy vitamins, fish oil, b12, vitamin c and the list goes on. 

But in reality, vitamins are expensive, they take up a ton of space and they don't necessarily do any good. In an effort to do some spring cleaning, literally and physically, I did some research on which vitamins are essential for your health and which have the nutritional value of actual gummy bears.          

Toss These

It's not to say that the vitamins on this list are useless, or unhealthy, but you don't necessarily need to take a supplement to reach the daily recommended amount. If you eat a healthy diet full of veggies and protein, many of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs will come from your diet. Meaning you don't have to buy that extra supplement when you can just drink more orange juice. 

Vitamin A / Beta-carotene

pasture, carrot, vegetable
Charlotte Hull

Beta carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body and is found in foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes. It is possible to consume too much vitamin A. Some of the symptoms include coarse hair, dry skin, weakness and severe headaches. Yikes. So before you blame the cold weather and midterms for your health issues, try tossing out those vitamin A pills.

Vitamin C

ice, smoothie, orange juice, sweet, cocktail, juice
Jocelyn Hsu

This is the primary vitamin in those packets of Emergen-C that sell out every winter in colder states. But, you don't need to keep spiking your drinks with that fizzy powder. A single orange packs almost all your daily C needs. And not to burst your bubble, but there is no actual proof that loading up on extra vitamin c will cure your cold. 


walnut, apricot pits, meat, almond, nut
Gabby Phi

It is possible to get too much of a good thing and that's the deal with calcium. While it's important to get enough calcium in your diet, adding supplements can do more harm than good. A study done in the British Medical Journal found that taking additional calcium can increase the risk of heart attack by 31%. It can also lead to kidney problems and hardened blood vessels. So maybe just stick to getting your calcium through cheese.


sweet, vegetable, juice
Drew Stafford

It might be fun to feel like you're finally allowed and even encouraged to eat gummy bears, but, in reality, multivitamins are just as problematic as the other vitamins on this list. Partially because they contain the vitamins above. The big issue is that most Americans are getting enough vitamins and minerals from their daily diet and don't need to supplement. There are no studies that indicate that multivitamins are useful or beneficial to health and some studies even suggest that they can be harmful. 

Take These

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you give up on all your vitamin dreams. Some supplements are actually important and are even essential to good health and well being. 

Fish Oil

smoked salmon, salmon steak, sushi, lemon, meat, steak, sashimi, trout, fillet, seafood, fish, salmon
Jonathan Chan

Unless you eat a hearty supply of fish like mackerel and cod liver, it can be hard to get the nutrients in fish oil from your daily diet. Fish oil contains omega-3, which decreases the risk for heart disease, hypertension and even depression. And these are just a few of the many benefits. No harm in taking a fish oil supplement to aid health.


chocolate, coffee, tea
Dana Salzman

The best source of iron is lean meat and seafood, but it's hard to get 100% of the recommended daily value just from these foods. Especially, if you eat a vegetarian diet or suffer from heavy periods. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin (a component in red blood cells), which is why it's so important to get an adequate amount of iron. Try adding an iron supplement to your daily routine to prevent the exhaustion and impaired cognitive functions that come with iron deficiency.


bacon, sausage, beef, pork, meat
Andrea Leelike

Vitamin B12 is essential for proper blood cell formation, DNA synthesis and neurological function. It's found in animal products like clams and beef. Starting to see a pattern? It's definitely an important supplement if you don't get meat in your diet. So much so that some doctors offer shots of b12, trust me been there done that. But why face a fear of needles when you can just take a chewable supplement?

Vitamin D

milkshake, dairy product, sweet, dairy, cream, yogurt, milk
Aakanksha Joshi

There aren't many natural foods that contain vitamin D. If you're getting any from your diet it's most likely through fortified foods. The best source of this essential vitamin is sun exposure. Which means that if you live anywhere where the days are short and the sun is rare (like Michigan for example), you should highly consider taking a supplement. You can only eat so much vitamin D fortified yogurt. 

The important thing about vitamins is that you shouldn't take them if you get enough nutrients from your diet and you should always consult a doctor if you think you need to start adding supplements to your daily routine. It might seem harmless or even beneficial at first, but vitamins are more complicated than they seem. It is possible to get too much of many of these vitamins and minerals. If you feel that you're lacking a major vitamin in your life think about turning to your diet before you turn to Walgreens to help your health