TODAY |

Do we need vitamin and mineral supplements or are they a waste of time?

We're in the deep dark depths of winter and with it comes colds, snuffles, ills and chills.

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We're in the deep dark depths of winter and with it comes colds, snuffles, ills and chills. Source: Seven Sharp

So, to prevent sickness you can't be blamed for wanting some extra immunity boost - in the form of vitamins or supplements.

But is there any point to them, or are we just giving away our hard-earned cash?

Otago University human nutrition lecturer Claire Smith says vitamins are unnecessary for most healthy Kiwis.

Supplements (file picture). Source: istock.com

“For most healthy New Zealanders they really aren’t [necessary], we can get all we need from our food.

“If we have a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables and milk then we are getting everything we need from our foods.

She says people who take vitamins are the “worried well” and often already get the vitamins and minerals they need from food.

However, Smith says there is some evidence taking extra vitamin C when you have a cold can help, but not to a “huge extent”.

She says if someone isn’t eating a varied diet then it’s best to talk to a health professional and see if you need supplements.