The most popular—and cheapest—brands of vitamins and minerals don't help prevent any of the major diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke or premature death.
Popular multivitamins, and vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C supplements didn't have any protective effects, although they didn't do any harm either, say researchers at the University of Toronto, who analysed previously-published papers.
The one exception were the B vitamins and folic acid that might reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, they said.
"If you want to use multivitamins and supplements, it does no harm, but there is no apparent advantage either," said lead researcher Dr David Jenkins.
If you can't buy the high-end vitamins—also known as nutraceuticals—make sure you're eating well. Even then, vegetables grown in mineral-depleted soil as a result of intensive farming won't be so health-giving, either (unless you buy organic).