Vitamins taken by around a third of the population do not extend life and may even cause premature death, according to a respected group of international scientists.
After reviewing 67 studies involving more than 230,000 men and women, the experts say there is no convincing evidence that taking supplements of the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E can make you healthier.
The alarming findings, published today, will shock Britons who spend £333million a year on supplements.
Forty per cent of women and 30 per cent of men take a vitamin pill each day.
The review involved trials on beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium.
It says in-depth analysis of the different trials does not support the idea that vitamins extend lifespan.