We've heard a lot about how vitamins and health supplements are basically the modern-day equivalent of snake oil. But there are a very small number of them that medical studies suggest can actually help your health.

Over at Smithsonian, Joseph Stromberg has an article about the few supplements you can buy from that helpfully-alphabetized display case at Walgreens, and which will actually have some discernible effect on your well-being. In fact, one of the items, garlic, can even be consumed in tasty food — so no need to buy a bottle of the stuff in pill form.


Drum-roll please . . . here are those five supplements: Vitamin D, probiotics (you can get these from yogurt), zinc, niacin (also called B3), and garlic.

To find out what the scientific basis is for this list, along with some caveats, read Stromberg's article at the Smithsonian.