This Is What Happens When You Stop Taking Vitamins

The debate on supplementing with vitamins and minerals might feel like it will never reach a final conclusion, and chances are it probably wont. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, most Americans do not reach the recommended dietary intake of vitamins and minerals. Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute, shares that "There's strong evidence that a multivitamin/mineral supplement supports normal functioning of the body and helps improve overall health, and may even help lower chronic disease risk."

There are many studies that show the benefits of supplementing with vitamins, particularly vitamin D, vitamin B, and vitamin C. Other vitamins have been found to be helpful, particularly when a person has a medical condition or is deficient in nutrients, sometimes because of the region where they live (via Healthline).

On the contrary, there are articles such as one that Business Insider published in 2017, titled "We should never have told people to start taking vitamins," which states that there is no significant evidence that shows taking vitamins can benefit your health more than eating more healthy food.

While this is an argument that may last forever, if you were originally taking vitamins, and then based on further investigation decided to just stop taking them, you may experience some unwelcome effects.

Stopping your vitamins all at once may cause side effects

According to Dr. Daniel Fenton, clinical director of London Doctors Clinic, suddenly stopping your vitamins can result in various adverse reactions, depending on the individual (via  Female First). If you are taking vitamins to make up for a deficiency, and you discontinue use, Dr. Fenton says you may end up with a depleted immune system and feeling extraordinarily fatigued. If you go for a longer period of time being deficient, you may become prone to more serious medical conditions, such as depression.

As for how long it will take to feel these effects, Dr. Fenton shares that, "a general rule of thumb, noticeable differences are seen within weeks to months."  Dr. Renee Miranda of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recommends stopping the vitamins one by one, rather than all at once. She suggest eliminating one for a period of time and notice the way you feel. 

It is also important to see a doctor if you suspect you have a nutrient deficiency, or if you decide to stop taking vitamins, as the doctor can help you determine the best course of action regarding supplements.