People who take over-the-counter dietary and vitamin supplements think they will be healthier and live longer.  Then again, maybe not. Supplements may not do either of those things.  In fact, recent studies indicate, as an old song goes, "it ain't necessarily so."

It's reported that about half of American adults take one or more vitamin and mineral supplements every day.  Many consumers believe vitamins boost health, prevent chronic diseases, eliminate dangerous free radicals and keep them from catching a cold.

Studies show, however, that taking a dietary or vitamin supplement may provide too much of certain vitamins, which can cause negative health outcomes.  For example, beta carotene supplements may increase lung cancer rates, and folic acid increases the risk of precancerous polyps.

Collectively, these unwanted results increase the risk of chronic diseases that are often fatal.  The bottom line is that vitamin supplements may be unnecessary. They can be harmful to your health and even shorten your life.

via Do Vitamins Shorten Lifespan? | LIVESTRONG.COM.

So what's a health-conscious person to do?

Experts at the Mayo Clinic say the first thing to do is stop thinking you can get nutrition from pills.

Step two is stop eating food low in nutrition and start eating nutritious whole foods.  There's more information and suggested foods and menus at: