If you are not taking your daily vitamins and minerals you may be missing out on significant health benefits. According to a recent study, consuming multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplements for just 6 weeks led to improvement in a number of clinical markers. The subjects were men and women who consumed less than 2 servings of fruit and less than 3 servings of vegetables per day so they were probably missing out on many nutrients . Supplementation led to improvements in several markers of oxidative stress and HDL "good" cholesterol. Supplementation reduced homocysteine levels and homocysteine is an important risk factor for heart disease. Finally, the ability of one of the arteries in the arm to dilate (get bigger) was improved with supplementation, indicating improved blood vessel health. This study suggests vitamin and mineral supplementation is not only good "insurance" but has widespread health benefits too.

Randolph et al. Reduction in oxidant stress and cardiovascular risk factors through intake of multivitamin-multimineral supplementation. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Washington D.C., April, 2004. Abstract #362.2.