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Vitamin Supplements – What you Need to Know

Vitamin Supplements - What you Need to Know

We are bombarded with nutritional ads of vitamin supplements claiming that their brand is what our body needs and it will do us good, but do you really know if they can do the job well and put your health in its perfect ideal shape? How is it different from other supplementing vitamins? Vitamins and nutritional supplements have a wide range of its classes and chemicals that are meant to add to the nutrients that people get through their diet. There are over 90,000 different supplements available in the market and some are derived from natural resources while others are created inside a laboratory.

Awareness about the latest news and trends about vitamins can be overwhelming for an average consumer. One of the simple questions that commonly arise about this area of majority’s concern is “What does an average consumer need to know about daily supplements?” The simple answer is pretty straightforward, “they don’t need much”. New studies and claims about vitamins are published daily and may seem to contradict each other.

There is a common belief that there are benefits from taking a supplement. Like for instance of a calcium supplement is believed to promote stronger teeth and bones, because there are people who don’t get as much as they need through their diets. Some vitamins become merely important at certain points of a person’s life; Like for an instance, a pregnant woman should be certain that she gets enough folic acid, a B-complex vitamin each day for her baby’s normal development. And as we age, one should take a supplement that is high in vitamin B-12 that will keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy that prevents anemia.

Memorizing all the benefits and intricacies of all the vitamins is non-essential since there’s too much information to remember. What you need to do is eat a healthy balanced diet by selecting recommended foods that are good for our body and living a healthy lifestyle. If you are planning to go a vegan diet, click here to learn more.

Have you tried asking yourself if you really need to take a vitamin supplement? If you have uncertainties, continue reading to know more.

Vitamins and Healthy living is not easy

Most common vitamins and minerals are presumed to be safe to take at recommended doses. However, bad reactions to supplements are possible. Maintaining a balance of the vitamins that we daily need is tricky yet pretty important. While vitamins do work together to ensure our body’s good state of health, like how vitamin D aids in calcium absorption, we also have to take into consideration the interaction between vitamin supplements and the prescribed medications that may cause serious health problems like for instance of Calcium’s ability to limit the absorption and effect of your doctor’s prescriptions. It is always important to discuss with your family doctor all the supplements that you are taking to avoid any potential problems.

Does it give better results? 

For those who are practicing a healthy diet and taking their daily dose of vitamins based on the packaging recommendations, this won’t trigger a vitamin overdose. However, taking vitamins and supplements at a very large dosage will get you into trouble.

Some people are self-medicating and are taking large amounts of supplements more than the recommended amount, thinking that it will prevent or treat their illness; Supplement therapy should only be done with a doctor’s guidance as side effects or complications on overdosage may occur. Like what high doses of niacin or vitamin B3 can do to harm the liver. However, in many cases, niacin is a good food drug in reducing statin levels.

For better evaluation of any supplement as a medical treatment, you may consider the body of evidence supporting any health claims and seek information from a pharmacist, dietician or better yet, a family doctor. On the other hand, folks who sell supplements probably are not the best sources of information to rely on. 

Do you need to take a vitamin or supplement?

For most people, the answer is no. These supplements often advertise their health benefits like improved thinking or memory, better heart health, and a stronger immune system. For years, doctors have recommended certain supplements such as fish oil and multivitamins. However, these claims have not been supported by pieces of evidence from medical research.

Is a balanced diet better than a supplement?

Vitamin Supplements - What you Need to Know

A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, some cheeses, fish, poultry, or lean meats provides all the needed vitamins and nutrients that our body needs. Evidence suggests that our body is better at absorbing nutrients from the foods that we eat than supplements. Whole foods also provide the amounts and ratios of nutrients that our body can most efficiently use. According to studies, people who eat a balanced diet have positive health benefits that are not found in supplements. At the end of the day, these vitamins and supplements from drugstores and groceries cannot make up for a less than healthy diet.

When you should consider taking a supplement?

When:

  • Having osteoporosis and not being able to get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet
  • Planning to bear a child
  • Having measured B12 deficiency
  • Struggling with gastrointestinal problem/s or also have bariatric surgery

Things to know about nutritional supplements:

  • Supplements can also contain ingredients that are toxic and may cause harmful reactions with medications or other supplements
  • Supplements are weakly regulated and undergo a little government testing for safety and effectiveness
  • A balanced diet provides all the vitamins and nutrients needed for good health

If you still opt to take a dietary supplement, you may discuss this with your physician about any supplements you are taking or considering.

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