(CNN)If you've been more concerned about your health lately, you might be wondering if taking a nutrition supplement containing vitamins, minerals or a combination is worthwhile.
It's estimated that more than half of Americans take one or more dietary supplements daily or on occasion.
The pills are popular in Europe, too: According to one estimate, the dietary supplement market was worth over $14 billion in 2018, although research has suggested that usage varies widely according to each country.
But are you wasting your money on vitamins and minerals you don't need or possibly harming yourself by taking high doses? Here's the lowdown.
A healthy diet comes first
Adding supplements only makes sense for some of us, experts say, such as the elderly, pregnant women, breastfeeding babies and people who have certain diseases or conditions that affect absorption of nutrients, potentially resulting in nutritional deficiencies.
In fact, mitigating nutritional deficiencies is where supplements "are best utilized" according to Craig Hopp, deputy director of the division of extramural research at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, part of the US National Institutes of Health.