Yes, people carelessly take more vitamins than they need to sometimes. In fact, many of the foods that we get off the shelves are fortified with many more vitamins than they would have otherwise. People are even drinking meal replacement drinks. You can refer to the website included in this answer to find out more information about the right amount of vitamins you should take.
The existence of the “raw food movement”, though, suggests that vitamins might be necessary. Raw foodists are of the belief that, for various reasons, crops grown now are void of many of the nutrients that humans need. So, one can either eat only raw food or attempt to supplement their diet with vitamins.
Good Question! This is, in fact, one of the most hotly contested topics in nutritional science today. There is one view, stating that in America and the developed world, we are largely able to get healthy amounts of our vitamins from the food we eat (with the possible, but unlikely, exception of certain vitamins found exclusively in fruits and veggies; Americans are terrible about eating fruit). These vitamins are considered better, as they interact within the body more efficiently with the aid of flavonoids, probiotics, etc. However, there is another view stating that taking, say, one multivitamin in the morning, or supplements to counter a known deficiency, is still a very healthy option, to cover any deficiencies that arise during the day.
Vitamin deficiency diseases, caused by diet, are nonetheless extremely rare in the United States. Taking too much vitamins is, in addition, rarely harmful, as most common vitamins (with the exception of A, D, E, and K) are water-soluble, meaning any excess is removed in the urine. The four listed above are fat-soluble, and excesses can cause diseases, however, these diseases are about as rare as deficiency diseases, because to consume the amount required to cause negative symptoms would require quite a bit of effort.
Hope this helps!
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