Vitamin and Mineral Supplements


Most people are concerned about getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in their diet.  With careful planning, most nutrients can be provided in daily meals and snacks rather than in pill form.  However, vitamin pills may still be required in certain cases:

  • People on low-calorie diets may not get all the vitamins they need because their meals are so restricted.  For these people, vitamin pills provide an easy, efficient way to supplement the diet.
  • Women who are pregnant of breastfeeding may require vitamin and mineral supplements. Pregnant women should pay special attention to iron and folic acid, which are especially difficult to get through diet alone.
  • When people grow older, their metabolism slows down, they eat less, and they absorb nutrients at a slower rate.  Older people can help restore the proper intake of nutrients by taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Some medical conditions and drugs make it difficult for a person’s body to absorb nutrients.  For example, people who suffer from anemia lack enough iron in their blood and often require iron supplements.  Alcohol may also cause vitamin deficiencies by damaging the liver, which is one  of the body’s vitamin storage centers.

If you decide to take vitamins try to rely on healthy foods as the major source nutrients.  However, if you decide to take a vitamin or mineral supplement, check the label for ones that say 100 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for each nutrient.  This means they provide all of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Recommended Dietary Allowance for the average person.  Some vitamins are toxic if taken in excess, so make sure you take them in the proper amounts.  An excess of one vitamin or mineral may also interfere with the absorption of another one.

If you suffer from a specific medical condition, have special dietary needs or want to find out if you should be taking vitamin of mineral supplements, consult your physician or registered dietitian.  Living Healthy have registered dietitian consultations so check  out our website:  Living Healthy.  Most vitamin and minerals supplements are safe when taken as directed but may be waste of money if you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs from a balanced diet.


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