This is purely my own experience and opinion.
There are arguments out there that claim taking vitamin and mineral supplements does nothing to help improve health. That they are a waste of money, and in some cases can be harmful. Some state that our bodies can't properly metabolize the supplements in pill form because our bodies are made to draw the nutrients from the source (food, etc.) and so just spill the nutrients from pills through the bodies urine.
I can't say if these claims are true, or even if I've stated them accurately, because I am no professional. I can say with certainty, though, that I am a supplement taker and they work damn well for me! When I go without taking supplements, I notice a significant and more negative difference in my overall health.
Now, maybe it is because I am not a healthy person. Maybe supplements don't make a difference for people that are already healthy for the most part. But for people like me who live with chronic conditions and incurable diseases, supplements can do a whole lot to benefit our health. I live with Type I Diabetes and a lot of complications of diabetes. Supplements have done much to help me live a healthier life.
Now I am not talking about expensive products that come from multi-level marketing schemes and may include meal plans and programs and promise cures, weight-loss, and/or other things. No, I am simply talking about vitamin and mineral supplement pills you can buy at almost any store that sells foods and pharmaceuticals.
Some people don't like the idea of vitamins because they don't want to take on an 'odor'. To them I might suggest buying the odorless kinds. Almost all the supplements that used to cause certain smells now come in an odorless version. Or you can take chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is excellent at making you not smell like anything at all. Perfumes won't even stay on your skin! We used to give it to our dogs to get rid of the dog odor and it worked wonders!
As far as the claim that supplements can be harmful...of course they can. Anything can be harmful when you just jump on in and don't do your homework first. If you take too much, or you mix with medication that they don't mix well with, or you have an allergy to a vitamin. Everything has the potential for harm. And also, don't just buy any old brand of supplements, do your homework on companies and buy from a company/brand you trust.
For me the key differences I notice when on vitamins are a follows: More energy and alertness, healthier skin, hair, and nails, I sleep better, I experience fewer aches and pains, my mood evens out (I feel happier), my appetite evens out (less cravings). And, of course, the various benefits to health related to why I take the supplements I take!
Everyone's health needs differ, so obviously different supplements will benefit different people. For me, here is a list of what I take and why:
*The benefits listed below are not ALL the benefits of each supplement, they are just the ones I take them for.*
Multi vitamin: Hey, I just like to cover all my bases. :)
Calcium +Vitamin D: Every woman should take this, it's great for helping to prevent osteoporosis. It benefits bone strength and health.
Cinnamon: The spice of life! There are a ton of health benefits of cinnamon, some are: blood-sugar regulation, mood regulation, and much more. I not only take a cinnamon capsule, but I also use cinnamon in a lot of my cooking.
Magnesium: Magnesium is good for the heart and bones and is also good for reducing pain.
Evening Primrose Oil: Helps with high cholesterol, heart disease, nerve damage (neuropathy).
Vitamin B-12: Boosts mood and energy, good for the heart, nerves, reduces ringing in the ears, and is a mosquito repellent.
Folic Acid: Good for the heart, sleep aid, nerve pain. Folic acid causes vivid dreams. I naturally have vivid dreams and taking folic acid only makes them more vivid. I love it!
Cranberry: Good for blood pressure and boosts immune health.
Frankincense and Myrrh oil (topical): Temporary relief from neuropathy pain.