The answer is, yes they are. 
Doctors can determine deficiency with a blod test and treat patients with deficiency accordingly. As an example does lack of vitamin A cause blindness, lack of vitamin C scurvy and vitamin D deficiency is actually common. Unlike most other vitamins, getting enough vitamin D doesn’t depend solely on diet or supplements. Exposure to sunshine also contributes to a person’s daily production of vitamin D. Not having enough vitamin D in the body can cause a variety of problems. Bone weakness is one of the most serious.
The use of supplements and vitamins is a controversial subject. Some say that we get everything we need if we eat balanced diets others say that we need to supplement what we eat with vitamins and supplements. 
How can we know what is right?
I think we can not. We have to try out and decide what is beneficial for us. If we take something and it makes us feel better. Why not?
It is easy to ask the doctor for directions, they take a simple blod test that can tell us if we need some supplements or not.

In this documentary the benefits of vitamins and supplements are under the microscope.
In the documentary the work of Linus Pauling and his research is mentioned, Pauling is the man who claimed that large doses of vitamin C could help us fight diseases and created a craze for vitamin C .
There is still a high controversy regarding his findings some positive and others not
Linus Pauling won a Nobel price two times, first in 1954 for chemistry and the Nobel peace prize in 1962. Pauling died 1994 at the age of 93, that might be a indicator that his theory worked out, at least for him.

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