People are going to the shops or other sources to purchase vitamins as "insurance" for their health as they have been increasing numbers that cannot afford the health insurance here in the United States. But how do you know what is considered to be a good vitamin? by what standards can you judge a vitamin supplement's quality or effectiveness? By large, most vitamins found in supermarket shelves or the industry in general are not worth taking.
The article by Alex Williams indicates that "growing interest in vitamins and herbs as a logical extension of the concept of “consumer-directed health care” — the idea that people will take more preventative measures if their insurance deductibles are set higher — which has been working its way from conservative policy circles toward the mainstream over the last 20 years.
If you want to find out how your vitamins rank out of over 1500 products, you can check out the NutriSearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, 4th edition. This is the most complete 3rd party guide out there that was commissioned by the Canadian government to determine which vitamins were worth taking. This was to enable their citizens to make more informed choices about vitamin supplements in the over-cluttered market-place.