Health & Fitness | November 5, 2016 5:00 am

These Five Vitamins and Supplements Might Actually Be Worth Taking

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The vitamin aisle at your local drugstore is packed with bottles of pills that promise effective results, but most scientists agree: the majority of those pills aren’t worth taking.

However, a recent article from Smithsonian makes the case for a handful of vitamins and mineral supplements that may actually be beneficial. Using a helpful interactive graph from the website Information Is Beautiful, as well as lots of other studies, Smithsonian pinpointed five pills you might want to pick up, depending on what type of health gains you’re looking for. They are:

Vitamin D
It’s an oldie but a goodie. In one study, researchers found that adults who took daily vitamin D supplements lived longer than those who did not. It has also been shown to improve bone health.

Probiotics
Taking a probiotic either as a supplement or in a food like yogurt can reduce the incidence of diarrhea after a course of antibiotics. But it’s not something you need to take every day.

Zinc
Unlike vitamin C, zinc can actually reduce the length of a cold and make its symptoms less severe. Feel a cold coming on? Reach for a zinc lozenge or pill.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

 

Niacin (a.k.a., Vitamin B3)
Niacin supplements have been proven to help those suffering from heart disease. One study found that taking the supplement every day reduced the chance of a stroke or heart attack for those with heart disease, thus reducing their risk of death.

Garlic
This pungent herb might be bad for your breath, but it’s an effective treatment for high blood pressure. Other studies have even shown that it can help prevent cancer.

Bonus: According to the graph, there’s one more herb you should keep in mind: St. John’s Wort has been shown to be equally as effective as conventional medications in treating depression.