Vitamin and mineral supplements have been popular ever since the early 1940s. These vitamin statistics reveal that more than one-third of Americans take supplements to make up for vitamin deficiency. But we need to ask ourselves, “Are multivitamins necessary, or is Big Pharma just trying to get us to spend more money?”
As the obsession with dietary supplements becomes more intense, we want to reveal some of the most interesting facts and stats on multivitamins and answer this and many other burning questions you might have. So keep reading to find out more.
But first, let’s take a look at some of the vital stats and facts on multivitamins.
The Top 10 Vitamin Supplement Statistics and Facts
- Vitamins are essential for numerous chemical processes in the body.
- Folate is one of the critical vitamins during pregnancy.
- Vitamin A is essential for nighttime vision.
- 54% of online vitamin shoppers are women.
- Vitamin supplements can’t replace a balanced diet.
- Vitamin D protects us from type 1 diabetes.
- Vitamin D deficiency may lead to damaging consequences for the skeletal system.
- Over 50% of children under five are deficient in vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin B3 deficiency can cause pellagra.
- Nearly 4% of single exposures to vitamins resulted in minor adverse effects in 2019.
Keep reading to find out more about the vitamin/minerals/supplements (VMS) industry and the health benefits of these products.
What Are Vitamin Supplements?
Vitamins are a group of nutrients humans require for proper growth and development. Since the human body can’t synthesize most vitamins (save for biotin, vitamin D, and vitamin K in limited quantities), we have to take them through food or supplements.
Let’s find out what vitamin supplements are, what they do, etc.
1. Vitamins are organic compounds that are required in small amounts to sustain life.
(Medical News Today)
Most vitamins are present in food in small quantities. Not following dietary recommendations may result in vitamin deficiency since our bodies can’t synthesize them. All vitamins have different roles, and we need them in varying quantities.
2. There are two main groups of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble.
The difference between fat- and water-soluble vitamins is how these vitamin groups are stored in our organism. Fat-soluble vitamins are usually absorbed in fat globules, which go through the small intestines’ lymphatic system and into the body’s blood circulation. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in body tissues.
Conversely, water-soluble vitamins do not stay in the body for long and therefore need to be replaced more often than their fat-soluble counterparts. Water-soluble vitamins are quickly absorbed into tissues to allow for immediate use.
3. The body needs 13 essential vitamins for normal cell function, development, and growth.
What are the 13 types of vitamins?
Our bodies require the following four types of vitamins that are fat-soluble:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
We also need nine water-soluble vitamin types, and they include:
- Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6, Folate, vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin C
4. Our body also needs minerals to function correctly.
Our bodies need minerals for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, heart, and brain. Like vitamins, they’re also divided into two major groups: macrominerals and trace minerals (microminerals). Both groups are equally important, but we need trace minerals in smaller amounts.
5. Our bodies require 15 essential minerals.
According to the facts about vitamins and minerals, minerals are essential for making enzymes and hormones. They’re usually absorbed through food, but in some cases, there’s a need for supplementation. The essential minerals are:
- Macrominerals that include calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur.
- Trace minerals (or microminerals) that include cobalt, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.
However, depending on the medical issues and medications, some people may need different amounts of these minerals.
6. Vitamin facts state that taking 5 times the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of zinc, iron, selenium, and chromium can be toxic.
(Better Health Channel)
High doses of water-soluble vitamins can become toxic, and taking more folate than recommended can hide vitamin B12 deficiencies. There have been cases where people take 100 times the RDI of vitamins, stopping the work of their anticonvulsant drugs.
7. The vitamin absorption rate depends on 3 factors.
There are very few studies on vitamin absorption rates by brand, so each company has its claims. It’s not easy to determine each product’s absorption rate since it depends on the individual’s digestive capabilities, which change with age.
The absorption rate also depends on the enteric coating—some pills need an enteric coating as protection from stomach acids to make it safely to small intestines. Moreover, the absorption of some vitamins is influenced by other nutrients. For example, calcium absorption is enhanced by vitamin D.
8. Vitamins are essential for numerous chemical processes in the body.
Both water- and fat-soluble vitamins are essential for metabolic reactions, which can be anabolic and catabolic.
One of the interesting facts about water-soluble vitamins is that they all have a catalytic function. They take on the role of coenzymes of enzymes involved in energy transfer or metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, or fats.
On the other hand, the function of fat-soluble vitamins is more related to specialized tissues. They may control the production of particular enzymes, maintain the function and integrity of the membranes, etc.
Facts About Vitamins and Vitamin Products
Vitamins and minerals are available in several forms—liquid, powder, pill, etc. Their main differences are reflected in their effectiveness, speed of action, and ease of consumption may vary.
Here are some of the most absorbing nutrition facts about vitamin supplements, their functions, ingredients, etc.
9. Different vitamins have different recommended daily intake values.
Though they might come in the same form, from the same manufacturer, etc., different vitamins aren’t the same. Therefore, you’ll require different amounts of them for proper functioning. The dosage might also depend on your gender, age group, levels of physical activity, etc.
- Vitamin: 900 mcg/day for males and 700 mcg/day for females
- Vitamin B3: 16 mg/day for men and 14 mg/day for women
- Folic acid: 400 mcg/day
- Vitamin C: 90 mg/day for men and 75 mg/day for women
- Vitamin E: 15 mg/day
This is one of the essential vitamin supplements facts to bear in mind. Taking too little may not lead to desired effects, while excessive vitamin supplement intake may pose health risks.
10. Studies show that our bodies use 98% of liquid supplements.
Moreover, the vitamin statistics reveal that liquid extracts need one to four minutes to assimilate, while pills and tablets need 20–30 minutes to break down. Liquid vitamins are better for people with digestion problems caused by gastric surgery or people who can’t swallow pills.
11. Folate is one of the critical vitamins during pregnancy.
Adequate vitamin B9 intake is essential during pregnancy since it plays a vital role in fetal development and helps prevent anencephaly and spina bifida. This is one of the crucial B9 vitamin nutrition facts.
Women of childbearing age should take at least 0.4 mg of folate per day before and at least three months after conception to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
12. Vitaminwater contains 40% of vitamin C, but it also has 13 grams of sugar.
Vitaminwater is packed with vitamins. Besides vitamin C, it has 20% of vitamin B3, B6, B12, and B5, each, as the vitamin water facts state. Additionally, it has 150 mg of potassium. However, vitaminwater is also packed with carbohydrates, sugar, and it has between 100 and 125 calories per serving.
13. Vitamin A is essential for nighttime vision.
According to vitamin A nutrition facts, adequate vitamin A intake can prevent night blindness and other vision-impairing diseases. This is because this vitamin is a precursor to the molecule essential for forming light-absorbing pigments in the eye.
14. Gummy vitamins are one of the most popular types of vitamins.
Gummy vitamins are chewable vitamins that come in a variety of flavors, colors, and shapes. Their taste and texture are similar to gummy candies, making them the perfect source of daily vitamins for children or adults who don’t prefer taking pills.
15. Inadequate vitamins intake can lead to chronic illnesses.
They include cardiovascular diseases, liver dysfunction, and kidney dysregulation.
Vitamin Sales Statistics
Vitamin sales recently spiked massively. One of the driving factors for increased vitamin consumption is definitely the COVID-19 pandemic which engaged many in pursuit of the best way of boosting the immune system.
Let’s check out the most recent vitamin sales fluctuations.
16. Vitamin sales increased by 40% in 2018.
The online sales of vitamins and supplements are increasing at such quick rates that they’re growing about 12% faster than the rest of the e-commerce industry.
17. Vitamin sales reached almost $31 billion in revenue in 2018.
When it comes to their popularity in America, supplements and vitamins mostly owe it to the people’s increasing interest in health and wellness. Namely, 33% of the surveyed consumers claim they use dietary supplements for wellness and health.
18. Vitamin supplement statistics reveal that 54% of online vitamin shoppers are women.
Millennial women make up almost a third of this group, boosting the online sales of vitamins and supplements. On average, they spend $24 on this category.
19. More than two-thirds of US adults take dietary supplements.
A 2018 survey has discovered that 69% of the US population takes dietary supplements and spends $73.32 on average, creating significant growth in the market, according to the vitamin and supplement industry statistics.
20. A whopping 77% of Americans took dietary supplements in 2019.
Expectedly, vitamins and minerals were the products US citizens resorted to the most. According to vitamin consumption statistics, they accounted for 76% of all dietary supplements consumed in 2019.
21. Online vitamin and supplement sales in the US reached $18.3 billion in 2020.
Between 2015 and 2020, the vitamin and supplement market has grown by 17.4% per year, faster than the overall economy. Furthermore, it’s expected to grow by 15% in 2020.
22. Over 60% of US adults increased their vitamin intake due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to vitamin statistics for 2020, the use of multivitamins increased by 59%, vitamin C by 44%, vitamin D by 37%, zinc by 17%, and calcium by 16% in 2020.
23. The dietary supplements market is supposed to reach $210.3 billion by 2026.
(Reports and Data)
According to the current analysis, this revenue will be achieved with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4%.
Interesting Facts About Vitamins and Minerals
Did you know that, besides providing optimal body function, vitamins can also help you reach your fitness goals in a way? Or that they can protect you from particular common ailments?
Keep reading and discover more interesting facts regarding vitamins and minerals.
24. B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, magnesium, and iron can help with weight loss.
Vitamins and supplements are beneficial when it comes to losing weight. B vitamins keep the metabolism healthy and help the body process carbs, fats, and proteins, while vitamin D maintains the immune system. Additionally, iron helps the body create energy from food, and magnesium is essential for energy production.
25. People who don’t eat meat may need up to 80% more iron, as mineral and vitamin statistics reveal.
(Healthy Food Guide)
On average, our body absorbs only 18% of the iron we eat, but this percentage increases to 25% when we consume meat. Additionally, people who avoid meat need up to 50% more zinc.
26. Vitamin supplements are different from prescription drugs.
(American Cancer Society)
Though vitamin supplements and prescription drugs come in similar forms, their use is entirely different.
Vitamin and multivitamin use is related primarily to providing additional nutrients. In no way can they treat diseases the way prescription medications do.
Since supplements aren’t regarded as drugs, they don’t have equally strict effectiveness and safety requirements.
27. Vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of respiratory infections by 12–75%.
Research suggests that in addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, supplements and vitamins can reduce the risk of viral infections. Taking a multivitamin benefits people of all ages and reduces the risk of virus-related respiratory infections, whether they have a chronic illness or not.
28. Vitamin supplements can’t replace a balanced diet.
Vitamin supplements are called dietary supplements for a reason—they’re meant to support your diet. However, they aren’t supposed to serve as a substitute for nutrient-rich food (fruits, vegetables, etc.).
29. Vitamin D supplement helps fight sunburn.
It helps with inflammation and reduces swelling and pain if taken shortly after experiencing sunburn. Aloe vera is also a good addition.
30. Studies show that vitamin D reduces fibromyalgia pain.
Women are more likely than men to experience fibromyalgia pain, and vitamin D helps reduce it.
31. You can overdose on vitamin supplements.
Although vitamin supplements are widely available over-the-counter products that don’t require a doctor’s prescription, you should be careful about how much you’re taking. Excessive doses of particular vitamins may lead to severe adverse side effects.
According to facts about water-soluble vitamins, B-complex vitamins (B1, B2, B5, B7, and B12) likely won’t cause toxicity. This is because their water-soluble nature allows them to excrete every excess through urine.
On the other hand, vitamin C, B3, B6, and B9 are likely to cause toxicity despite being water-soluble.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Your body requires minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc.) and all 13 essential vitamins (A, C, D, E, K, and B-complex) for proper functioning.
In the following paragraphs, we delve into the details about their most prominent functions.
32. People with high amounts of vitamin A in their diet are 6% less likely to break a bone.
However, more robust bones aren’t the only benefit of a vitamin A-rich diet. Eating tuna, salmon, butter, kale, carrot, spinach, mango, and papaya will increase vitamin A levels in the body. This protects your eyes from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), decreases your risk of developing certain types of cancers, and improves your immune system.
Vitamin A nutrition facts also reveal that this vitamin reduces the risk of getting acne and is essential for a healthy reproductive system.
33. There are 7 types of vitamin B.
The vitamin B complex turns food into energy. Here’s more information on its benefits:
- Vitamins B1 and B2 can be found in cereals, potatoes, pork, seafood, and they help with energy production and enzymes that affect the muscles, nerves, and heart.
- Vitamin B3 is found in chicken, nuts, beans. It maintains healthy skin, digestion, and nervous system.
- Vitamin B5 and vitamin B12 — facts reveal — are responsible for growth and development and can be found in almost all foods.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) keeps the immune and nervous systems healthy and builds blood cells. It can be found in fish, meat, bananas, and dried beans.
- Vitamin B7 (biotin) helps the body produce hormones and is found in bananas, mushrooms, watermelon, grapefruit, and egg yolks.
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid, folate) aids blood cells’ production and creates and maintains DNA. When it comes to prenatal vitamins, statistics reveal that it’s essential to take folic acid during pregnancy to aid the fetus’s development. Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, peas, and wheat bread are especially rich in vitamin B.
34. Taking 100 mg of vitamin C per day reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases in non-smokers.
Our bodies require vitamin C for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters. Vitamin C is also an essential antioxidant, regenerating other antioxidants in the body, as vitamin C facts show. Fruits and vegetables are especially rich in this vitamin.
35. Vitamin D protects us from type 1 diabetes.
(MedicalNewsToday, Holland & Barrett)
It also regulates calcium levels, keeping our bones healthy, and protects us from the flu. Pregnant women, infants, and the elderly can benefit from vitamin D; it keeps their muscles strong, protects them from heart disease, and keeps their brain safe from dementia.
According to the vitamin D facts, the micronutrient is among the essential nutrients in dairy and milk. Still, fatty fish, like tuna, salmon, and mackerel, are also rich in it, and so are mushrooms, beef liver, and fortified cereals and juices. Our body can also create vitamin D when exposed to the sun.
36. Vitamin E can help repair damaged cells.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and it describes eight different compounds that protect our cells from damage and prolong their life. It also gives our body protection from exposure to air pollution, cigarette smoke, and, according to the vitamin E facts, high exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight. Roasted seeds and nuts, boiled spinach and broccoli, kiwi, mango, and tomato are all rich in this vitamin.
37. Vitamin K improves episodic memory in the elderly.
Vitamin K is also essential for blood clotting, regulating calcium levels, and bone metabolism. It decreases the risk of bone fractures, osteoporosis, and prevents mineral build-up in the arteries. Oils, fruits, and leafy green vegetables are the best sources of vitamin K.
Vitamin Deficiency Statistics and Facts
Given that we require only small quantities of vitamins daily, one would expect vitamin deficiencies to be rare. However, statistics about vitamins deficiency paint a different picture.
How severe can vitamin deficiencies get? Do they pose serious health concerns? Stick with us to find out as we walk you through the most relevant statistics and facts on vitamin deficiency.
38. Vitamin A deficiency affects 190 million preschoolers globally.
Children with vitamin A deficiency are at risk of blindness and even death caused by infections like diarrhea and measles.
39. Vitamin D deficiency may lead to damaging consequences for the skeletal system.
Vitamin D deficiency may lead to damaging consequences for bones and the skeletal system. Here are some vitamin D facts that illustrate how and why bone health is dependent on this essential mineral.
Vitamin D helps increase intestinal and renal absorption of the two minerals essential for bone health and strength, calcium and phosphorus.
This vitamin is also involved in bone mineralization, preventing bone disorders and deformities such as hypocalcemic tetany, rickets, and osteomalacia.
40. 50% of the US population has vitamin D deficiency.
Additionally, one billion people globally suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which leads to overall weakness, muscle aches, fatigue, muscle twitching, and bone fractures.
41. One in 60 babies is affected by vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB).
The CDC vitamins chart shows that babies who don’t receive a vitamin K shot at birth are 81 times more likely to develop VKDB, which leads to internal and external bleeding, causing organ damage and death.
42. Vitamin B3 deficiency can cause pellagra.
A diet lacking in niacin, chronic alcoholism, malabsorption diseases ( e.g., ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, etc.), and certain medications (e.g., isoniazid) may all lead to pellagra-inducing vitamin B3 deficiency.
Pellagra is characterized by three distinctive symptoms (dementia, diarrhea, and dermatitis) and can be lethal if left untreated.
43. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common cause of preventable blindness in children.
The lack of vitamin A in the system results in a dry cornea. Dryness, in turn, leads to corneal and retinal damage that may cause blindness. According to the WHO data, between 250,000 and 500,000 new preventable childhood blindness cases arise among children every year.
Moreover, 50% of the new cases end up dying within a year of losing their sight due to the increased risk of contracting other deficiency-related illnesses such as diarrhea. Hence, health professionals encourage parents to ensure their kids access to essential A-vitamin products in 2021.
44. Over 50% of children under five are deficient in vitamins and minerals.
Micronutrient deficiencies are especially prevalent in underdeveloped countries. Most frequently, the reason for this is a lack of access to adequate sources of vitamins and minerals that would support proper growth and development.
45. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia.
Vitamin B12 is essential for DNA and red blood cell production. The elderly and vegans are at a high risk of developing this vitamin deficiency, which causes mouth ulcers, tongue inflammation, anemia, weakness, and blurred vision.
46. Folate deficiency may cause neural tube defects in newborns.
Here are some interesting B9 vitamin supplements facts that explain the relevance of folate for fetal development in detail.
Folic acid is essential for nervous system development. Tetrahydrofolate, folate’s biologically active form, helps DNA, RNA, and protein formation.
The lack of tetrahydrofolate (caused by folate deficiency) negatively affects cell division and methylation reactions. Furthermore, it may lead to homocysteine accumulation. This, in turn, increases the risk of defects.
Statistics and Facts on Vitamin Overdose and Toxicity
One of the most well-known facts about water-soluble vitamins is that you’re less likely to overdose on them than on fat-soluble vitamins. The reason for this is the body’s ability to excrete excess nutrients through urine efficiently.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to ingest a potentially harmful amount of vitamins. Though rarely, excessive vitamin intake may result in severe consequences.
Let’s delve into the vitamin stats regarding the prevalence and consequences of immoderate supplemental vitamin use.
47. Nearly 4% of single exposures to vitamins resulted in minor adverse effects in 2019.
This amounts to 1,836 cases. Furthermore, according to 2019 US toxicity-related vitamins statistics, 0.45% (211 patients) experienced moderate and 0.02% (12 patients) experienced severe side effects.
The NPDS recorded only one lethal vitamin-toxicity-related outcome in 2019.
48. Vitamin toxicity is more common in children.
(Very Well Health)
The NPDS statistics indicate that children under five accounted for 42,553 of 59,761 vitamin toxicity cases in the US in 2017.
49. Vitamin toxicity patients usually achieve a quick recovery.
Vitamin toxicity patients generally feel better soon after receiving adequate medical attention or discontinuing the use of supplements.
The toxicity symptoms may vary from mild to severe. Moreover, supplemental vitamins, according to statistics, rarely cause lethal outcomes.
What do vitamins do for the body?
Vitamins are vital nutrients for the body, essential for normal metabolism. A lack of any of them can lead to serious health issues.
Is it good to take a multivitamin every day?
If you think your diet lacks some of the essential vitamins, taking a multivitamin can be beneficial. However, if you have any medical conditions or take medications, consult your physician first.
Are vitamins a waste of money?
Do multivitamins work? Are the multivitamin benefits real? Yes! Multivitamins aren’t a waste of money, and they’re an excellent way to get essential vitamins that you don’t take in with food. However, you should always try to get all your vitamins from food.
What percentage of a multivitamin is absorbed?
Absorption percentage depends on the vitamin itself, but it varies from 25–90%.
How many types of vitamins are there?
There are two types of vitamins—water-soluble (vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12) and fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E, and K).
The Bottom Line
Vitamin supplements can’t replace a well-balanced diet, but they can help our body fix a nutrient deficiency and improve our overall health. And as these vitamin statistics have shown, they’re not a miraculous cure for medical conditions. Taking too many vitamins can do more harm than good, so be careful and always consult your physician.
- American Cancer Society
- Better Health Channel
- Harvard University
- Healthy Food Guide
- Holland & Barrett
- Rakuten Intelligence
- Reports and Data
- Scholar Commons
- Very Well Health