35 Essential Vitamin Statistics: What You Need for a Healthy Life

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35 Essential Vitamin Statistics: What You Need for a Healthy Life

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Vitamins are essential to the overall health and the proper function of the body. Yet, vitamin statistics show that 90% of Americans don’t meet the estimated average requirement or adequate intake of vitamins and minerals.

Currently, one-third of Americans take vitamin supplements to increase their immunity and feel healthier, and it was recently shown that vitamin intake was directly linked with shorter hospital stays due to COVID-19. Here are 35 of the latest and most important statistics on vitamins to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Fun Facts About Vitamins (Editor’s Choice)

  • The body needs 13 essential vitamins to function properly.
  • 98% of liquid vitamins get absorbed.
  • 90% of Americans are vitamin deficient.
  • Taking over 3,000 mg of vitamin C can have adverse effects.
  • Nearly 60% of people take multivitamins.
  • About half of the population has a vitamin D deficiency.
  • The vitamin and supplement industry is estimated at $140.3 billion .
  • Amazon drives 77% of the online vitamin and supplement sales.

General Facts About Vitamins and Minerals

Five spoons full of different healthy seasonings

1. Our body needs 13 vitamins for normal cell function, growth, and development.

(Medline Plus)

The human body requires 13 vitamins for normal cell function, growth, and development. Four essential vitamins are fat-soluble: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Vitamin D. The rest of the vital vitamins are water-soluble, and they include Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B12, folate, and pantothenic acid) and Vitamin C.  

2. Our body requires 15 minerals. 

(Medline Plus)

Minerals are crucial to making hormones and enzymes. According to vitamin and mineral facts, the microminerals (magnesium, chloride, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, sulfur, and calcium) and trace minerals (copper, cobalt, iodine, fluoride, manganese, iron, zinc, and selenium) are crucial to proper bodily function. These minerals are usually absorbed through food. However, some people need to take supplements.

3. Taking five times the recommended dietary intake of selenium, iron, chromium, and zinc can be dangerous.

(Better Health) 

Vitamins statistics indicate that taking water-soluble vitamins in high doses can be dangerous and raise toxicity levels in the bloodstream. Similarly, taking folate in higher doses than recommended can hide the deficiencies of Vitamin B12, which could lead to anemia. Iron toxicity is also common as even a small amount over the recommended dose can cause nausea and constipation. 

4. The body uses 98% of liquid vitamins.

(Medicare)

Vitamin nutrition facts reveal that nutrients need to be suspended in a solution to absorb at the cellular level. As such, nutrients that are in a liquid solution are absorbed quicker and more completely into the body. 

It takes approximately four minutes for liquid supplements to take effect in the body, compared to 20-30 minutes needed for tablets or capsules to break down in the stomach. This gives maximum efficacy, as the body uses 98% of liquid vitamins, while the vitamin absorption rate for tablets and capsules is between 39%-53%.

5. 90% of Americans experience vitamin deficiency.

(Medical Economics)

A study has shown that 90% of US adults fail to comply with the estimated average requirement or adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. Statistics reveal that approximately 90 million Americans experience vitamin D deficiency, whereas 30 million have insufficient levels of vitamin B12. A further 18 million are deficient in vitamin B6 and 16 million in vitamin C. Eating organic food might solve this issue.

6. The multivitamin absorption rate depends on the supplement content. 

(Healthy Eating)

The exact absorption rate of multivitamins depends on the supplement content. If it surpasses your required amount of water-soluble vitamins, the excess will be flushed out through the urine. An excess of fat-soluble nutrients are stored in the body, however, and can lead to built-up toxicity in the system. 

Further, if the multivitamin contains iron, taking it with milk can prevent absorption, whereas orange juice is shown to enhance it. The fat and protein in foods generally promote absorption, so it’s good to take multivitamins during meals. 

Fun Facts About Vitamins - Who Takes Them and Why?

Cashews and hazelnuts spread on a flat surface

7. 81% of people aged 55 or older take supplements.

(Statista)

The usage of vitamin supplements increases with age. For example, including the 18-34 age group, 69% of people are currently taking dietary supplements. That said, 74% of 34-54 year-olds and 81% of people aged 55 or more have incorporated supplements into their diet. It’s good to know that wellness and health is important to many people.

8. Americans consume only half of the vitamin B1 (thiamin) recommended intake in the food they eat.

(Medical News Today)

The best way to consume vitamins is through a natural source. Still, vitamin B1 facts reveal that Americans take only half of the needed vitamin intake through foods that naturally contain B1 like meat, fish, and whole grains. The rest comes from fortified foods, like cereals, bread, and infant formulas.

9. About 10-15% of older adults have a B12 deficiency.

(PubMed)

The deficiency of vitamin B12 affects about 10% to 15% of older people. These most common signs are pale skin, weakness, fatigue, and changes in mobility. Vitamin B12 facts indicate that shortness of breath, mood changes, and disturbed vision are also common signs of deficiency, and if left unaddressed, it can result in nerve damage.

10. 73% of US adults take vitamin supplements.

(AP News)

The percentage of US adults using vitamin supplements has remained relatively constant over the last five years. While there was a slight drop in intake in 2020, Americans seem to hold the same general consensus about taking vitamin supplements and maintaining a healthy body. The main reason for many not keeping up with their regular vitamin routine is due to pandemic-related financial struggle and social distancing.

11. Four in five Americans take supplements even though only a quarter of them have received test results that confirm a nutritional deficiency.

(Osteopathic.org)

Recent vitamin statistics show that 86% of Americans take nutritional supplements even though only 24% of them have a confirmed deficiency. Experts argue that taking supplements without a need is not only a waste of money but can also cause more harm than good. Not only are several medications like insulin deemed less effective, but taking unnecessary supplements can burden the kidneys and liver.

12. 43% of US adults changed their supplement routine after the COVID-19 outbreak.

(AP News)

Vitamin statistics reveal that after the COVID-19 outbreak, 43% of people changed their supplement routine by adding new supplements to their regimen, changing the frequency of usage, or increasing dosages.

One of the main cited reasons for these alterations is the recent discovery that vitamin intake is directly related to hospitalization rates in coronavirus patients. Vitamins aid in immune cell maturation and regulate gene expression in immunity cells, making it an integral part of maintaining a healthy immune system.

13. 58% of people take multivitamins.

(IFT)

Research on multivitamins and supplement facts reveal that 60% of people take multivitamins, making them the most popular form of supplement on the market. In comparison, 31% of people take vitamin D supplements, 28% take vitamin C, 20% take B complex, 16% take omega-3, 14% take magnesium, and 12% take vitamin E.

The huge popularity of multivitamins is due to their convenience, combining different vitamins and minerals, so instead of taking a few individual vitamins, you can have the daily vitamin intake in one capsule.

Statistics and Fun Facts About Vitamin C

Circular slices of lemons, grapefruit, and oranges in different sizes

14. Vitamin C absorption is lower than 50% when taking amounts greater than 1,000mg.

(Harvard)

Vitamin C isn’t naturally produced by the body, and the intestines have a limited ability to absorb it. Notably, in doses of 1,000mg or more, vitamin C absorption drops by 50%. Most commonly, the excess is filtered through the kidneys and secreted through the urine.

15. Taking more than 3,000mg of vitamin C a day can have adverse effects.

(Harvard)

According to vitamin C facts, it’s possible to experience some side effects when taking vitamin C in amounts greater than 3,000mg. For example, some users have reported diarrhea, increased uric acid levels, and increased formation of kidney stones. Others have experienced increased iron absorption and hereditary conditions causing excessive iron in the blood.

16. According to vitamin C facts for kids, the duration of the common cold can be reduced by up to 18% by taking vitamin C.

(Healthline)

There’s an ongoing debate regarding the benefits vitamin C intake has on the common cold. That said, a survey has shown that regular intake can reduce the severity of contracted colds and reduce the duration by 14%. Furthermore, administering 1-2 grams of vitamin C a day can shorten colds by up to 18% in children.

17. Only 100mg of vitamin C a day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

(NCBI)

The presence of vitamin C in the body has been connected to prevention and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in non-smokers. Some interesting facts about vitamin C indicate that the body requires vitamin C for essential processes like biosynthesis of collagen, some neurotransmitters, and L-carnitine. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant and regenerates other antioxidants in the body, which contributes to its many health benefits.

18. People with higher vitamin C concentrations in the blood have a 42% lower risk of stroke.

(Oregon State University)

More facts about vitamin C show that people with the highest average blood levels of vitamin C (at least 66 micromoles per liter) show a 42% lower risk of stroke than those with vitamin C in a concentration of fewer than 41 micromoles per liter. Notably, the blood vitamin C concentration among the participants in the study was directly correlated with the intake of regular fruits and vegetables.

19. Vitamin water contains 40% of Vitamin C.

(Dr. Jez)

Vitamin water nutrition facts reveal that this fortified water contains 40% of Vitamin C and 20% of vitamin B6, B. B12, and B5. Additionally, vitamin water includes 150 mg of potassium. While these products are designed to look healthy, they still contain up to 13 grams of sugar and fructose, which in large doses can cause a variety of health issues and can contribute to weight gain.

Vitamin D Numbers, Facts, and Figures

Cut carrots, cucumbers, a mushroom, and peppers on the wooden plank

20. Almost 50% of the population globally has vitamin D deficiency (VDD).

(NCBI)

About one billion people globally experience vitamin D deficiency. The best way to absorb vitamin D is through direct sunlight, and certain conditions like reduced outdoor activities, air pollution, and low number of sunny days are the main factors contributing to VDD across all age groups.

Researchers are particularly concerned with these numbers, as vitamin D deficiency is a direct indicator for mortality and life span. The main sources of vitamin D are oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, and even some CBD products.

21. 44% of COVID-19 patients had severe vitamin D deficiency.

(PubMed)

Vitamin D deficiency statistics show a correlation between patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and vitamin D deficiency. A recent study revealed that VDD was more common in COVID-19 patients (44%) than non-COVID ones (31%). Notably, women who were VDD were more likely to contract the virus at 57.7%, almost 14 percent higher than the average.

22. Vitamin D supplements lower the risk of respiratory infection by 12-75%.

(Harvard)

Vitamin D supplements, in addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, can reduce the risk of viral infections. Some interesting facts about vitamin D have revealed that the presence of this vitamin in the body can significantly reduce the risk of acute respiratory infections for people of all ages. Furthermore, the vitamin enhances the ability of the body to fight infections and decrease inflammation and is a central component to healthy immunity.

23. Just 15 minutes of sunlight exposure can produce a large amount of vitamin D in the body.

(Harvard)

Taking advantage of sunlight is a natural way to produce vitamin D. Fun facts about vitamin D are that as little as 15 minutes of sunlight exposure can produce large amounts of the vitamin, especially for those with light skin. Studies show that this time increases up to four times longer for those with darker skin.

Keep in mind that the conversion of UV light to vitamin D also depends on multiple factors like the season and time of day, amount of cloud coverage, and levels of environmental smog.

Vitamin and Supplement Industry Statistics

A circular slice of an orange and its right side covered with white vitamin pills

28. The global vitamin and mineral market is estimated at $140.3 billion.

(Grand View Research)

The global vitamin and supplement market size was valued at $140.3 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow at an 8.6% CAGR between 2021 and 2028, reaching $272.44 billion. The primary drive for this expansion is people’s increased dependency on dietary supplements to fulfill nutritional requirements.

29. The US market size of the vitamin and supplement industry is valued at $36.6 billion.

(IBISWorld)

The dietary supplement statistics reveal that between 2016 and 2021, the US vitamin and supplement industry has been expanding at a CAGR of 2.9%. As of 2021, the industry valuation is at $36.6 billion, but experts predict the market will decline by 1.4% by the end of the year.

30. North America has a 35.7% revenue share of the vitamin and supplement market.

(Grand View Research, Grand View Research)

In 2020, North America had a 35.7% revenue share of the vitamin market. According to recent vitamin stats, this is a result of the population’s increased awareness about nutrition and healthy eating. As a result, the market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.6% and reach a total of $77.1 billion by 2028.

31. At the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, vitamins accounted for 31.4% of the industry share.

(Grand View Research)

Multivitamin supplement facts indicate that in early 2020, there was a higher demand for vitamin supplements than ever before. Users started consuming multivitamins through liquid, tablets, and powder in an attempt to boost their immune systems and protect themselves from the disease. As a result, vitamin supplementation accounted for over a third of the total industry share at the onset of the pandemic.

32. At $194.7 million, Bausch & Lomb Preservision is the top-selling name brand.

(Statista)

Multivitamin facts show that private labels dominate the US multivitamin market by almost double, generating $315 million in sales. Bausch & Lomb PreserVision is the leading second in America with $194.7 million in sales. Centrum Silver takes third place, generating $164.5 million in sales in 2019.

33. The average Greatest Generation consumer spends $129.58 on vitamins and supplements per trip to the pharmacy.

(Statista)

According to recent vitamin statistics from Statista, people who fall under the Greatest Generation age category spend the most on vitamins and supplements per trip to the store with $129.58. Baby Boomers are also avid spenders when it comes to vitamins and supplements, spending on average $111.59. The average Gen X consumer pays $82.06, whereas the millennial consumer pays $62.73 for vitamins and supplements.

34. Millennial women are the leading vitamin and supplement shoppers.

(Rakuten Intelligence)

Fun facts about vitamins point out that 54% of vitamin and supplement shoppers online are women, and about a third of them are Millennials. Women, in general, spend on average $24 per trip to the store on vitamins, while Millennial women spend over $27.

35. Amazon drives 77% of the total vitamin and supplement sales.

(Rakuten Intelligence)

The ecommerce giant owns more than four-fifths of the ecommerce market and is an indisputable leader in the vitamin and supplement emarket. Excluding Amazon, specialized sellers dominate online sales, such as Vitacost, which accounts for one quarter of the market, and Swanson Vitamins as a close second.

Vitamin Statistics: The Takeaway

Vitamins are of the utmost importance for maintaining a healthy immune system and regulating body processes. They’re also important for healthy and beautiful skin.

It’s best to consume vitamins through natural food sources because this is the most efficient and easiest way for the body to absorb essential nutrients.

With today’s modern lifestyle, it can be difficult to plan healthy meals, and as such, supplements are a secondary solution to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Multivitamins are not a simple fix-all, however, as taking too many vitamins can result in toxicity in the system and adverse health impacts.

Therefore, it’s vital to be aware of dietary deficiencies and supplement accordingly to maintain optimum immunity and a healthy body.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQ)

Vitamins and minerals are the essential nutrients that keep the body functioning properly and help maintain a healthy immune system. They perform multiple functions like promoting healthy aging, supporting metabolic function, aiding red blood cell production, and much more. Usually, vitamins are absorbed from the food we eat, but vitamin supplements are an excellent way for complementing those nutrients and get you one step closer to better health.

There isn’t a single vitamin that is most important. The body needs 13 vitamins to perform essential functions like maintaining a healthy immune system, regulating metabolism, and growing and repairing tissues. Four of the most important vitamins — A, E, K, and D — are fat-soluble. The remaining are water-soluble vitamins and include vitamin C and vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B12, pantothenic acid, and folate).

One study has shown that only 13.1% of Americans meet their recommended fruit intake, and only 8.9% eat enough vegetables. About half of Americans aged 50 and over have sufficient vitamin E, magnesium, and folic acid that come from their diet, and another study has revealed that as much as 90 million Americans experience a deficiency in vitamin D. 30 million have a vitamin B12 deficiency, and 18 million are deficient in vitamin B6 and 16 million in vitamin C.

Vitamins are dissolved during digestion and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Water-soluble vitamins can easily circulate in the body and as a result, can be absorbed by the body at any time of the day. On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins, like D, K, A, and E, can only be absorbed with fat and are better digested when taken with food.

Yes, you can take five different vitamins at once. Unlike drugs, most vitamins don’t interact with each other. That said, some research has shown that certain vitamin combinations interfere with each other’s efficacy. If you want to avoid taking five vitamins at once, consider multivitamins. They are a combination of multiple vitamins and are designed to help you bridge the potential nutrient gaps in your body.

There are specific vitamin combinations that complement each other very well. For example, you should take vitamin D3 and magnesium together, as magnesium increases the absorption of vitamin D3. Similarly, vitamin C helps iron absorption, and omega-3 and vitamin E work well in decreasing serum insulin and insulin resistance in coronary artery disease patients.

Some vitamins complement each other, but others don’t work well in combination. For example, vitamin A can decrease vitamin D uptake, and calcium and iron supplements together might prevent iron from complete digestion, which might upset the stomach. Moreover, vitamin C and vitamin B12 intake should be spaced out as the former can interfere with the latter’s absorption. Make sure to consult with your doctor before combining multiple vitamins to ensure you get the most out of each.

There are fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The vitamins you consume in the form of powder, liquid, or capsule are broken down in the stomach and then sent to the small intestine, where they’re absorbed into the bloodstream. When taken in a liquid form, there is a 98% absorption rate, because liquid vitamins are assimilated quicker and more completely. On the other hand, vitamin statistics reveal that the body uses only 39-53% of vitamins taken in a powder, tablet, or capsule.