Dietary supplements advertisements everywhere make it hard for us to choose which multivitamins are beneficial to our health and which are not. By having our own preferences, some think that nutrients from food are good for the body while others think that supplements intake is healthier. But if you are relying too much on food supplements, better think twice because these pills can’t actually replace a well-balanced diet.

Most people who don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables take dietary supplements to get the nutrients they need. Multivitamins and supplements may be easily found in drug stores which is a great convenience for some. However, a new study of the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that the nutrients from supplements do not improve one’s health.

The researchers examined the data of 30,000 U.S. adults who took supplements and joined the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2000. After six years of follow-up period, the study found out that more than 3,600 people died. This shows that food supplements didn’t actually lower the risk of early death.

In fact, people who took calcium via supplements had a 53% chance of dying from cancer than those who were not. Those who took vitamin D supplements but were not actually in need of such vitamin had a higher chance of dying during the study period. Surprisingly, not taking vitamin D supplements didn’t increase the death risk of those who were lacking in vitamin D.

It is true that getting a sufficient amount of vitamins A, K, D, and calcium is good for the body but only if those nutrients come from food and not supplements. Also, having the right quantities of nutrients from healthy foods may add to one’s longevity.

On the other hand, there are few people who benefit from supplements, including older people who struggle in absorbing food nutrients and those who have dietary limitations. But, it is still advisable for an average person to have a balanced diet that contains fruits and vegetables, rather than sticking to over-the-counter solutions.