Vitamin supplements no substitute for natural foods: Experts

New Delhi: Natural foods provide the best nutrition to the human body and there is no evidence to prove that vitamin supplements can better a person`s health, medical experts have said.

"All kinds of natural food if taken in moderation are good for health. Nature is the best. It is better to have natural foods than tablets supplementing vitamins," Seema Puri, associate professor at the Institute of Home Economy of Delhi University, said here Wednesday evening.

Cautioning against any kind of dietary supplements, she said even "superfoods" which claim to be fortified with minerals and calcium should be taken with caution.

Puri was speaking at the seminar "Vitamins-Do I need the multivit supplements" at the India International Centre here.

Asserting that natural food items were always the best, N.K. Arora, former professor of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said simple measure like washing vegetables first and then cutting them for cooking can preserve essential vitamins in them.

"It is only children who sometimes require supplements as they cannot get all kinds of vitamins from milk alone," he added.

Naresh Gupta of the Consumers` Forum, an organisation working for transparency in drugs, said vitamins are required in very small quantities and not necessarily always needed in high doses.