What You Need To Know
you are making a conscious attempt to live a healthy lifestyle,
you are bound to come across conflicting information about
the virtues of vitamins. Now that most of us have reached
the age where our vitamin pills no longer resemble cartoon
characters, it is difficult to know where to turn for reliable
are organic substances, which are essential to the proper
growth and performance of the human body. You receive many
of the most important vitamins and nutrients by following
a healthy eating plan. About 20 years ago, few doctors in
the United States recommended taking vitamin pills or nutritional
supplements.That thinking has changed.
even the American Medical Association recommends that everyone
take daily vitamins for health and wellness. Health reports
on nutrients and supplements frequently provide heavy doses
of conflicting information. Just reading these stories is
enough to make your head spin. And, if you think that is
confusing, just wait until you stop into your local health
food store or vitamin emporium. You will be overwhelmed
by rows and rows of products, each one promising to be the
Holy Grail of vitamins!
you know your Vitamin A from a hole in your diet, here is
a little basic information about some of the most common
vitamins and nutrients you may want to supplement, along
with some you can probably do without (at least in supplement
form). It may also be useful to know that there are programmes
out there like LifeScript, which will help you develop a
personalized Vitamin programme that meets your individual
general rule: children and adults will most likely benefit
from taking a daily multivitamin. Nothing replaces eating
healthy foods, but taking a multivitamin provides added
insurance that you're getting the necessary Vitamins and
that we've established the taking of Vitamins and supplements
may be beneficial for your individual needs we need to issue
this warning: be careful not to take them in excess!
taken in excess work like drugs," according to Susan
Burke, eDiets Vice President of Nutrition Services. "Also,
unless you have a Vitamin deficiency it is important to
realise that taking Vitamin supplements is not going to
You May Need
There are Vitamins and minerals you may want to supplement
to meet your individual needs. Most of these Vitamins fall
under the category of water-soluble Vitamins. This group
of vitamins includes the B Vitamins and Vitamin C. As the
name implies, this group of vitamins dissolves in water.
They are carried through the body in your bloodstream. With
the exception of Vitamin B-12, the body does not store water-soluble
Vitamins. After you use what you need, your kidneys flush
out excess water-soluble Vitamins in your urine. Water-soluble
Vitamins you may want to supplement include:
(folic acid): Folate supplements are generally
recommended for all women of child-bearing age because it
helps prevent birth defects. Extra folate may be helpful
for other types of people though, because there is increasing
evidence that it can lower your risk for heart disease and
colon cancer. Folate deficiency may also lead to anemia.
B12: This Vitamin is essential for healthy nerves.
Vitamin B12 deficiencies can cause anemia and memory loss,
as well as increase your risk for heart disease and strokes.
Many people may want to take Vitamin B12 supplements, especially
vegetarians and elderly people.
C: As most people already know, Vitamin C is found
in many fruits and vegetables, and it helps bolster your
immune system. While extremely high doses of vitamin C can
cause diarrhea or kidney stones, many people could stand
to take Vitamin C supplements, especially smokers. Yet another
reason smoking is unhealthy (as if you needed more) is that
it depletes the body's natural supply of Vitamin C.
not technically vitamins, here are some minerals, amino
acids and other substances you might consider taking in
fatty acids: Though your best bet is to include
plenty of fish in your diet, many people also take fish
oil supplements. Among other benefits, these supplements
can help prevent heart disease.
This mineral is useful for strengthening your bones and
teeth, and getting adequate amounts of calcium in your diet
will help prevent osteoporosis. While your best bet is to
get calcium from milk and dairy products, it can be difficult
to get enough calcium from your diet alone. Doctors often
recommend taking calcium supplements, though there has been
some disagreement in the medical community about how much
calcium your body needs.
This mineral is important to the function of your red blood
cells. Iron deficiencies are a very common problem, especially
for women. However, getting too much iron is thought to
increase the risk of heart disease in men,
This mineral is essential for tissue growth and healing.
Doctors may recommend zinc supplements, especially to elderly
You May Want To Avoid
According to Burke, people should not overload on fat-soluble
Vitamins. This group of Vitamins includes: Vitamins A, D,
E and K. As the name implies, fat-soluble vitamins dissolve
in fat and are carried through the body by fat molecules.
Since these Vitamins are often stored in body fat, taking
supplements of fat-soluble Vitamins is risky, unless prescribed
by your doctor.
A (also called Retinol): Vitamin A is important
for good vision. It also bolsters your immune system, has
an impact on reproduction and impacts numerous other bodily
functions. Vitamin A is present in many foods, including
fortified milk, eggs, cheese, liver and leafy green vegetables.
High doses of Vitamin A can be very toxic though. Excess
Vitamin A can cause bone fractures, hair loss, nausea, blurred
vision and other problems.
D: Vitamin D helps increase your body's absorption
of phosphorous and calcium. Your body receives Vitamin D
through fortified milk, cheese, fatty fish and exposure
be noted that you do need increasing amounts of Vitamin
D as you get older. People living in the upper regions of
the Northern Hemisphere are also susceptible to Vitamin
D deficiencies due to lack of sunlight. Many doctors do
recommend Vitamin D supplements to patients over 50, but
overloading on Vitamin D can be toxic.
E: Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and there is
scientific evidence to support the fact that it helps reduce
your risk for cancer and heart disease. Your best bet is
to get Vitamin E from green leafy vegetables, egg yolks,
vegetable oils, wheat germ and whole-grain foods.
K: Vitamin K produces many proteins that allow
your blood to clot. You should get enough Vitamin K by eating
green leafy vegetables, dairy products, liver and cabbage.
Excess Vitamin K can interfere with anti-clotting medications.
author is Diets Senior Writer Source: e-Diets