Despite the fact vitamins are not generally recommended for everybody, taking vitamin supplements is popular.
The average amount spent on vitamins and minerals in 2017 was £442 million – the most popular being cod liver oil and multivitamins.
While we are able to get everything we need from our food, it’s not as easy as you’d think.
Dr Lee said: “Many UK adults have lower than the recommended levels of many different vitamins and minerals, and actual deficiencies of vitamins and minerals are common.
“In a recent 2018 UK study, adults between the ages of 22 and 59 were found to be significantly lacking in 9 vitamins and minerals – these were riboflavin, vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and iodine.
“Younger adults had significantly lower levels than older adults of eight micronutrients.
“Selenium magnesium, iron and potassium intake were also lower than recommended.”
It’s all very well to say those with a healthy balanced diet do not need vitamins and mineral supplements, but in 2018, Britain was voted the country with the unhealthiest diet in Europe.
Out of 19 countries, Britain came top for consumption of junk food and the British Diet in general was declared ‘a public disaster zone’, by Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University.
Our diet is the reason why we actually do need vitamins and minerals in supplement form.
Dr Lee explained: “Junk food includes fried foods, takeaways, crisps and processed foods – all high in fat, sugar and salt, but containing virtually nothing in terms of micronutrients. The same applies to poorly prepared ready meals.”