Is routine multivitamin supplementation necessary in US chronic adult hemodialysis patients? A systematic review

J Ren Nutr. 2015 May;25(3):257-64. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2014.09.003. Epub 2014 Oct 29.


Because of concern that United States (US) chronic hemodialysis patients are at high risk for the development of vitamin deficiencies, the great majority of such patients are routinely supplemented with a multivitamin. This policy is supported by major US dialysis providers and nonprofit organizations. Yet routine multivitamin supplementation expands hemodialysis patients' already large pill burden, probably accounts for many millions of dollars in annual costs, and in light of previous reports may even carry with it the possibility of increased risk of adverse outcomes. An analysis of the benefits of routine multivitamin supplementation in US patients is therefore in order. We performed a systematic review of the medical literature between 1970 and 2014 using the Ovid MEDLINE database to address this question. We conclude that there is insufficient evidence to support routine multivitamin use and recommend that the decision to supplement be made on an individual basis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Avitaminosis / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects
  • Drug Costs
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy
  • United States
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / adverse effects
  • Vitamins / economics


  • Vitamins