The market for dietary supplements and vitamins was worth more than £670 million in 2009, according to NHS Choices, which provides general health information.
But, in a new report titled Supplements: Who needs them? the authors concluded: "During our work it has become clear that the widely perceived benefits of certain supplements simply do not have enough robust evidence to support them. This was partly due to press coverage, partly due to the way they were marketed, and partly due to "the sheer volume of misinformation floating around on the internet."
The report found that vitamin supplements to be a particular area of wasted cash.
Accounting for almost a third of the overall market, at £208 million, the report stated: "There are clearly plenty of people buying vitamin supplements but, surprisingly, only certain groups are considered to benefit from taking them."