According to the latest data from the Center for Disease Control, over half of Americans are using some kind of dietary supplement.
However, some of them may not even need them. Nutrition experts say that it's a good thing to be aware of your dietary needs and make sure you're getting all the right vitamins and minerals, but you can't use supplements as insurance. It is recommended that certain groups of people take vitamins. Women that are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should be taking pre-natal vitamins and people over 50 should be looking to see if they are getting enough B-12, which helps them to use energy. Dietitians say it's best to try and eat a wide variety of foods, because of the way those foods react with each other.
"In the case of foods, all these nutrients are working synergistically, they're all working together to promote good health. In a supplement, when they're all isolated, they don't behave exactly the same way," said Brooke Nissim-Sabat, a registered dietician and professor of nutrition at Pierpont Community and Technical College.
Dietitians say it's best to always try and find your essential nutrients in food first.