Is our search for immortality the reason that we turn to the pill or potion? Do we continue to look for the fountain of youth that is linked to the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. (Though de Leon was really looking for the isle of Bimini rather than Florida and there's no mention historically that he was searching for perpetual youth.) Yet the myth and tourist site remain popular.
Finally in modern times we now have a better view and summary of the ineffectiveness and harms of vitamins and mineral supplements published in the December 13th Annals of Internal Medicine: "Vitamin and Mineral Supplements in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer: An Updated Systematic Evidence Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force"
The bottom line is that vitamin and mineral supplements for healthy individuals don't work and some may be harmful. The editorial in the same issue concludes: "β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough."