A Closer Look At Antioxidants
Antioxidant is a catchall term for any compound that can counteract unstable molecules such as free radicals that damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells.
Your body cells naturally produce plenty of antioxidants to put on patrol. The foods you eatand, perhaps, some of the supplements you takeare another source of antioxidant compounds. Carotenoids and flavonoids are antioxidants. The vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium also have antioxidant properties.
The Common Cold And Vitamin C
Many people think that vitamin C helps prevent the common cold. Despite exhaustive research across the world, there is still no strong evidence to prove this. Some studies have shown that taking large doses of vitamin C continuously or when you first develop cold symptoms, may ease some of the symptoms and the duration on average, making it about half a day shorter. It does not prevent you catching a cold.
You also need to consider the health risks associated with taking large doses of vitamin C. Large doses may cause nausea, abdominal cramps, headaches, fatigue, kidney stones and diarrhoea. It may also interfere with your bodys ability to process other nutrients, for example, it could lead to dangerously raised levels of iron.
Excessive amounts of vitamin C in the body can also interfere with medical tests, such as diabetes tests, giving a false result.
Adults need about 45 mg of vitamin C per day and any excess amount is excreted.
When To Take Your Multivitamin
Generally, the time of day you take your multivitamin is not important. However, taking it with food may minimize stomach discomfort and aid in absorption. In addition, supplemental calcium and iron bind together in the gastrointestinal track. For optimal absorption of a calcium supplement, avoid taking it with your multivitamin, and if you take Synthroid, take it four hours before or after your multivitamin or calcium supplement for optimal effectiveness.
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Mouth Ulcers Or Cracks In The Corners Of The Mouth
Lesions in and around the mouth may partly be linked to an insufficient intake of certain vitamins or minerals.
For instance, mouth ulcers, also commonly referred to as canker sores, are often the result of deficiencies in iron or B vitamins.
One small study notes that patients with mouth ulcers appear to be twice as likely to have low iron levels .
In another small study, around 28% of patients with mouth ulcers had deficiencies in thiamine , riboflavin , and pyridoxine .
Angular cheilitis, a condition that causes the corners of the mouth to crack, split, or bleed, can be caused by excess salivation or dehydration. However, it may also be caused by an insufficient intake of iron and B vitamins, particularly riboflavin (
If you experience these symptoms, try adding the foods above to your diet to see if your symptoms improve.
Summary People with mouth ulcers or cracks at the corners of the mouth may want to try consuming more foods rich in thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and iron to alleviate symptoms.
Does All Natural Mean A Product Is A
First, its important to note that the Food & Drug Administration is not as stringent in applying effectiveness and safety studies to herbals and dietary supplements as it is with prescription medicines, per drugs.com. That puts more of an onus on consumers to be fully aware of whats in the supplemental products you buy and to perform due diligence with the help of that healthcare professional.
A label that says natural is no guarantee of the veracity of that claim, as the FDA has the power to seize and remove products from the market that are deemed tainted, contaminated, or unsafe. Such has been the case, for instance, with alleged all natural alternatives for erectile dysfunction that were discovered to contain actual prescription medications. Many supplements, including herbal remedies, vitamins, and minerals, can cause dangerous side effects when combined with drugs, says Dr. Marvin M. Lipman, chief medical adviser of Consumer Reports, quoted at consumerreports.org.
Experts at National Institutes of Health acknowledge that research has shown some dietary supplements carry the same dangers as other pharmacologically active compounds. On the flip side, though, NIH points out that some concerns about herb-drug interaction are not often based on rigorous research and many herb-drug interactions that have been identified are merely hypothetical. Still, its best to check them out for yourself. You should assume nothing.
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What Can Happen To You If You Take Too Many Supplements
Although supplement overdose is common, serious health conditions are rare. Usually, when a person takes too many supplements, he or she will notice issues within a few days.
Mildly uncomfortable side effects like constipation, muscle spasms, and profuse sweating will likely occur. At this point, you should discontinue taking all of your supplements until you can schedule an appointment with your doctor.
When too many supplements are taken for an extended period of time, your heart, liver, kidneys, reproductive system, and lungs can become damaged.
Because some vitamins can be stored in the body for months at a time, you can continue to feel the side effects long after you discontinue the use of your supplements. This is sometimes referred to as vitamin poisoning.
While the Mayo Clinic usually covers withdrawal from prescription and illegal drugs, some people can start to feel poorly when they stop taking their supplements.
Problems with sleep, increased appetite, and even depression can occur when you no longer take supplements. Withdrawal symptoms can appear whether you were taking too many supplements or not.
Poor Night Vision And White Growths On The Eyes
A nutrient-poor diet can sometimes cause vision problems.
For instance, low intakes of vitamin A are often linked to a condition known as night blindness, which reduces peoples ability to see in low light or darkness.
Thats because vitamin A is necessary to produce rhodopsin, a pigment found in the retinas of the eyes that helps you see at night.
When left untreated, night blindness can progress to xerophthalmia, a condition that can damage the cornea and ultimately lead to blindness .
Another early symptom of xerophthalmia is Bitots spots, which are slightly elevated, foamy, white growths that occur on the conjunctiva or white part of the eyes.
The growths can be removed to a certain extent but only fully disappear once the vitamin A deficiency is treated .
Fortunately, vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries. Those who suspect their vitamin A intake is insufficient can try eating more vitamin-A-rich foods, such as organ meats, dairy, eggs, fish, dark leafy greens, and yellow-orange colored vegetables .
Unless diagnosed with a deficiency, most people should avoid taking vitamin A supplements. Thats because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which, when consumed in excess, can accumulate in the bodys fat stores and become toxic.
Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity can be serious and include nausea, headaches, skin irritation, joint and bone pain, and, in severe cases, even coma or death .
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Micronutrients With A Big Role In The Body
Vitamins and minerals are often called micronutrients because your body needs only tiny amounts of them. Yet failing to get even those small quantities virtually guarantees disease. Here are a few examples of diseases that can result from vitamin deficiencies:
- Scurvy. Old-time sailors learned that living for months without fresh fruits or vegetablesthe main sources of vitamin Ccauses the bleeding gums and listlessness of scurvy.
- Blindness. In some developing countries, people still become blind from vitamin A deficiency.
- Rickets. A deficiency in vitamin D can cause rickets, a condition marked by soft, weak bones that can lead to skeletal deformities such as bowed legs. Partly to combat rickets, the U.S. has fortified milk with vitamin D since the 1930s.
Just as a lack of key micronutrients can cause substantial harm to your body, getting sufficient quantities can provide a substantial benefit. Some examples of these benefits:
- Strong bones. A combination of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, and phosphorus protects your bones against fractures.
- Prevents birth defects. Taking folic acid supplements early in pregnancy helps prevent brain and spinal birth defects in offspring.
- Healthy teeth. The mineral fluoride not only helps bone formation but also keeps dental cavities from starting or worsening.
Does Anyone Need Vitamin And Mineral Supplements Well Yes
There are medical conditions that put people at high risk for certain nutritional deficiencies, and there are medical conditions that can be treated with certain nutritional supplements. This is important, and is why the authors support targeted supplementation. But who needs what and where to acquire these are important discussions to have.
There are guidelines for specific groups, such as pregnant women. Folic acid is especially important for healthy fetal development, and a deficiency can cause spina bifida, a neurologic condition. I advise my patients to start either a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, or at the very least folic acid itself, ideally before they begin trying to conceive. As pregnancy advances, mom needs to provide her growing fetus with everything, and so she will benefit from a prenatal vitamin which contains things like iron and calcium.
Older adults can have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12, and I have a low threshold when checking this level if someone is taking an acid-reducing medication, it is very likely that they will become deficient in B12, as well as iron, vitamin D, and calcium, among other things. These folks may very well benefit from a quality multivitamin.
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Essential Vitamins Your Body Needs: Folate Folic Acid
Vitamin B9 is an essential vitamin, and is especially important for pregnant women.
Why you need Vitamin B9: To make DNA, RNA, red blood cells, and synthesize certain amino acids. Vitamin B9 is also important for pregnant women, as it helps prevent birth defects.
Where to get Vitamin B9: Liver, yeast, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, orange juice, fortified flour, avocados legumes.
What Do Vitamins And Minerals Do
Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs. For example, you’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes. It’s true! Carrots are full of substances called carotenoids that your body converts into vitamin A, which helps prevent eye problems.
Vitamin K helps blood to clot, so cuts and scrapes stop bleeding quickly. You’ll find vitamin K in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and soybeans. And to have strong bones, you need to eat foods such as milk, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables, which are rich in the mineral calcium.
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How Can I Find Out More About The Dietary Supplement Im Taking
Dietary supplement labels must include name and location information for the manufacturer or distributor.
If you want to know more about the product that you are taking, check with the manufacturer or distributor about:
- Information to support the claims of the product
- Information on the safety and effectiveness of the ingredients in the product.
Tablets: The Pop Bottle Methodiv
Step 1: Take a plastic soda or water bottle and fill it with drinkable water.
Step 2: Place the vitamin tablet on the center of your tongue and put your lips on the opening of the filled bottle, creating a tight seal.
Step 3: Drink the water from the bottle, making sure to keep your lips firmly sealed around the bottle. When the water enters your mouth, use a sucking motion to swallow the tablet and water.
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How Can I Get The Vitamins And Minerals I Need
It is usually better to get the nutrients you need from food, rather than a pill. Thats because nutrient-dense foods contain other things that are good for you, like fiber.
Most older people can get all the nutrients they need from foods. But if you arent sure, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian to find out if you are missing any important vitamins or minerals. He or she may recommend a vitamin or dietary supplement.
If you do need to supplement your diet, look for a supplement that contains the vitamin or mineral you need without a lot of other unnecessary ingredients. Read the label to make sure the dose is not too large. Avoid supplements with mega-doses. Too much of some vitamins and minerals can be harmful, and you might be paying for supplements you dont need. Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend brands that fit your needs.
What Is The Best Time To Take Vitamins
Not only is it important to know how to take vitamins, but knowing when to take them also makes a difference. Many people prefer taking vitamins first thing in the morning, before eating breakfast and getting started with their day. Others may prefer a different time of day. Consider creating a daily schedule that works best with your lifestylesometimes remembering to take vitamins daily can be the biggest hurdle.
Vitamins that are water-soluble versus fat-soluble should also be treated differently. A-fat soluble vitamin supplement like vitamin E, for instance, should never be taken on an empty stomach. In order for our digestive systems to absorb vitamin E, there needs to be some fat present.viii This makes vitamin E a great supplement to take with meals, unlike iron, which can interfere with certain foods like cheese, yogurt, eggs, milk, spinach, tea, coffee, or whole-grain breads.ix
Do you typically coordinate taking your vitamins with your workout? Some suggest that the best time to take vitamins is after a workout, not before, as the vitamins may move around in your stomach and trigger gastric acid production, which causes heartburn and acid reflux.x
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Ways To Get Vitamin D
You can get vitamin D from sunlight exposure, dietary sources, and supplements.
Getting ample vitamin D through sun exposure can be straightforward, but you do need to make sure you donât get sunburned .
In food, vitamin D can be found in beef liver, egg yolks, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. There are also many fortified foods, like milk and dairy products, that provide your body with vitamin D.
Nutrients In Foods Vs Vitamin And Mineral Supplements
Eating a variety of foods is the best way to ensure that youre meeting your vitamin and mineral needs.
After all, different foods contain varying amounts and combinations of nutrients. For example, citrus fruits are known for being high in vitamin C, while leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamin K (
In contrast, supplements do not offer the same nutritional benefits. As theyre meant to supplement not replace a healthy diet, they generally provide only concentrated amounts of specific nutrients .
One observational study in 30,899 adults in the United States found that adequate intake of certain nutrients through food sources was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease, as well as death from any cause .
However, consuming the same nutrients in supplement form did not reduce the risk of death from heart disease or any cause .
Individuals with nutrient deficiencies or those at increased risk of inadequate nutrient intake, such as women who are pregnant, can benefit from taking supplements as recommended by a medical professional.
Whole foods contain more than just vitamins and minerals. A varied and balanced diet also provides other essential nutrients and important plant compounds for health. Supplements are meant to help fill gaps in your nutrient needs.
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The Difference Between Vitamins And Minerals
Although they are all considered micronutrients, vitamins and minerals differ in basic ways. Vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air, or acid. Minerals are inorganic and hold on to their chemical structure.
So why does this matter? It means the minerals in soil and water easily find their way into your body through the plants, fish, animals, and fluids you consume. But its tougher to shuttle vitamins from food and other sources into your body because cooking, storage, and simple exposure to air can inactivate these more fragile compounds.
Pillars Of Wellness: Nutrigenomics
The concepts of nutrigenetics understanding gene based differences in response to nutrient intake and nutrigenomics- understanding how nutrient exposure affects gene expression and the downstream effects on cells, organs and body systems are critical elements of precision medicine.
The 3 pillars of wellness affect all aspects of health and longevity. Personalized vitamins and diet , fitness and mindfulness practices trigger expression of genes. That genetic code is specific to each person, so the needs of individuals vary. Sometimes these variances are not great, but sometimes the variances make a big difference in outcome. The precipative effects of lifestyle decisions- the 3 Pillars of Wellness- are individual specific. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggested that women of childbearing age, women who are pregnant, those with underlying conditions and older individuals may benefit from a personalized vitamin plan. In truth, everyone would benefit from understanding how their lifestyle choices- nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness- affect them personally.
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What Vitamins Should I Take
With so many vitamins out there, how do you know which ones you need to take? This health quiz will determine the right vitamins for you based on your lifestyle.
We will get to know you by asking some questions about your physical health, age, weight, and exercise habits to recommend the right vitamin for your lifestyle.
This test is not based on any scientific study whatsoever.It is intended for fun only so do not treat the result too seriously 🙂
Do not think about the answers too long. If you think you answered incorrectly, you can always go back to any question and change your answer.
Enjoy and share
At the end of the quiz we will give you the result. You can share it with your friends 🙂