Many of us take vitamins because we think they’ll keep us healthy, and reduce our odds of getting sick. But new research shows that some supplements can be hazardous to our health!

So, here’s what you need to know about supplements:

  • They won’t make up for bad health habits. There’s no such thing as a “magic pill” that’ll protect you against disease. And supplements definitely won’t undo the damage done by smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating, or not exercising.

  • If taking ONE supplement is good for you, it doesn’t mean that taking MORE is better. Researchers at Tufts University say our body has limits for how many nutrients it needs and once those limits are met, most extra nutrients get flushed away. That means you won’t get any extra benefit from taking more supplements. But there are more risks. For example, studies show a link between taking too much calcium, and having a higher risk for kidney stones and heart attacks!

  • You most likely don’t need them. A new study from the CDC shows that 90% of us already get all the vitamins and minerals we need each day from eating whole fruits and vegetables. We also get vitamins and minerals from “fortified” food. That’s the term for cereals, breads, and pastas that have nutrients added to them.

  • So, when SHOULD you consider taking supplements? Experts say they’re a smart option if your diet causes you to avoid certain food groups. Like, if you’re vegan, you may not be getting enough calcium from dairy products. And if you avoid nuts because of an allergy, you may not be getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Just make sure you always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.