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How To Know What Vitamins You Need

Raising Your B12 Level

Vitamins and Supplements, what you NEED to know!

Taking B12 supplements will bring back and maintain proper B12 levels. “The body does not create B12 on its own,” Graham explains.

Healthy adults should take in 2.4 mg of B12 daily. For some, especially those with autoimmune diseases like pernicious anemia, B12 must be taken in shot form to help carry B12 directly to stomach cells.

How To Get More Calcium

Adults should receive 1,000 mg of calcium each day from food sources and supplements.

Calcium-rich foods include as salmon and sardines , broccoli and bok choi.

And, of course, dairy products including skim milk, and nonfat or lowfat yogurt. Try swapping one daily sugary beverage for an 8 oz. glass of milk. And keep a few yogurts in the fridge at home or work for midday snacks. You can also use the milk and yogurt to make homemade smoothies, with fresh or frozen berries.

Who Is Responsible For The Safety Of Dietary Supplements

FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed.

The manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements are responsible for making sure their products are safe BEFORE they go to market.

If the dietary supplement contains a NEW ingredient, manufacturers must notify FDA about that ingredient prior to marketing. However, the notification will only be reviewed by FDA and only for safety, not effectiveness.

Manufacturers are required to produce dietary supplements in a quality manner and ensure that they do not contain contaminants or impurities, and are accurately labeled according to current Good Manufacturing Practice and labeling regulations.

If a serious problem associated with a dietary supplement occurs, manufacturers must report it to FDA as an adverse event. FDA can take dietary supplements off the market if they are found to be unsafe or if the claims on the products are false and misleading.

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Find Out More About Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 or vitamin PP or niacin is a water-soluble vitamin. This vitamin is not sensitive and is resistant to heat, oxidation and light. It is one of the rare vitamins produced by the body . However, the amounts produced are insufficient to meet daily requirements therefore, this vitamin is mainly obtained from dietary sources. It is readily absorbed in the small intestine, but very low levels of vitamin B3 are stored in the body, meaning that daily intake is necessary.

Carefully Assess Your Diet Based On Widely

Everything You Need To Know About Vitamins ...

The US Food and Drug Administration sets a Recommended Daily Intake for the essential nutrients to help people manage their nutrition.

The RDI is simply how much of each nutrient is needed each day for healthy adults. It is typically measured and listed using one of three different units: milligrams , micrograms , or international units . The nutrition labels on foods will list the nutrients they contain, as well as the percentage of your RDI for each particular nutrient.

This information is helpful to ensure that you are not consuming too much or too little of any nutrient in a given day.

One way to figure out what vitamins and supplements to take is to look carefully at the nutritional value of all the foods in your diet and see how close you come to the RDI recommended by the FDA for each essential vitamin and mineral.

If you have a diet thats particularly low or high in certain foods, you could be getting too much or too little of certain nutrients. For example, vitamin B12 is commonly found in non-vegetarian food sources, so if youre a vegetarian, you may be getting less than the RDI of that vitamin.

If the RDI represents the low end of the amount you need for a particular nutrient, then the UL represents the high end. It is only advisable to begin taking a supplement if you are confident that you are not presently meeting the RDI and unlikely to exceed the UL.

Ready to start your personalized routine?

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Causes Of Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies

A varied and balanced diet usually provides you with enough vitamins and minerals for optimal health. But deficiencies can happen for a number of reasons. Some common causes include:

  • poor absorption of nutrients for example, if you have coeliac or Crohns disease
  • a diet lacking in fruit or vegetables
  • a poorly planned vegan or vegetarian diet
  • drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • medications like proton pump inhibitors
  • pregnancy as your body has additional nutritional demands

So its a good idea to check your vitamin and mineral levels, especially if youre more at risk of a deficiency or have any symptoms.

Striking The Right Balance With Vitamins: 5 Things You Should Knowcommentary

Larry E. Johnson

Its a staple of cheesy science fiction moviespeople in the future simply pop a pill to get their daily nutritional needs, saving the time and hassle of cooking a full meal and doing the dishes. While replacing an entire meal with a tiny capsule may not be realistic today, many people use vitamin and mineral supplements in an attempt to boost their health without doing much work.

Its a tempting idea. We all wish we were a little healthier, and the idea that you can so easily improve your wellbeing or counteract unhealthy lifestyle and diet decisions is reassuring.

Theres just one problem. Taking vitamin supplements or a daily multivitamin isnt the silver bullet many people believe. For most generally healthy people, a daily multivitamin has not been shown to provide health benefits.

Yet vitamins and supplements are big business in the U.S. About half of Americans take some kind of vitamin supplement every day, and collectively we spend $14.3 billion a year on pills, chewable tablets, and gummies that contain vitamins and minerals. If you currently take a vitamin supplement or are considering taking one, here are five things you should know.

1. Vitamin deficiencies are relatively rare in the United States

In fact, most people eating a healthy, balanced diet get all the vitamins they need without having to take any additional supplements. Whats more, vitamins have not been shown to have an impact on most short-term illnesses.

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Three Tests Your Doctor Should Be Ordering But Isnt


As part of every work up with a patient, I order testing for vitamin and mineral levels. After reviewing the tests, my patients are often shocked. They often ask- Why doesnt my doctor order vitamin and mineral levels on me? I wish I had an answer to that question as I consider nutritional evaluations an inherent part of assessing someones overall health. Every biochemical process in the body requires certain nutrients to work properly. When we dont have adequate stores, that is when disease develops.

A body with suboptimal levels of vitamins and minerals is like a building constructed with poor materials: it doesnt work well and eventually will fall apart. As we age, if we accumulate deficiencies along with cellular damage, we age faster and develop disease. The conventional fix is to start a new medication which often causes more deficiencies and strain on our system. The better fix is to focus on our nutritional stores and make sure that our diet is adequate to keep up with our needs.

It is true that many conventional doctors dont bother to order these tests. Perhaps they dont believe that nutrition matters in health, or that they will be able to interpret them correctly and counsel you correctly. Or most sadly, they wont offer the testing because they feel insurance wont cover it. Most nutrition testing is at least partially covered and at most cost less than a nice pair of shoes.

The Vitamin Alone Is Not The Answer


Proper balance and adequate levels of essential nutrients is important for a range of complex processes in our body. When vitamins are taken as supplements, they are introduced into the body at levels that could never be achieved by eating even the healthiest of diets.

Supplementation can also result in large doses of a single vitamin being eaten alone. When vitamins are consumed from foods, they have many companions to help them along the way. For instance, provitamin A in food is accompanied by hundreds of its carotenoid relatives.

Simply taking a vitamin pill is not an instant fix for feeling run down or lacking in energy. It is the combination of a whole range of compounds in foods that gives us the protection . When you artificially remove one of them and provide it completely out of context, it may not be as effective and, in the case of some vitamins, can have negative effects.

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Sometimes Supplements Are Needed

Supplements do have a role to play for some groups of people. For instance, people on long-term restrictive weight loss diets or people with malabsorption problems, such as diarrhoea, coeliac disease, cystic fibrosis or pancreatitis, can benefit from supplements.

Folic acid supplements are strongly recommended for women planning a pregnancy to reduce the risk having a baby with neural tube defects, like spina bifida. Also, people who follow vegan diets, especially if pregnant, may benefit from vitamin B12 supplements.

People who are advised by their doctor that they need to take vitamin supplements are encouraged to consult an accredited dietitian, who can work with their doctor to provide dietary advice related to the persons situation.

If you need to take a supplement, it is best to take multivitamins at the recommended dietary level, rather than single nutrient supplements or high-dose multivitamins.

What Are Vitamins And Minerals

Your body needs vitamins and minerals to work properly. You get them from the foods you eat every day.

Vitamins fall into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble :

  • The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K dissolve in fat and are stored in your body.
  • The water-soluble vitamins C and the B-complex vitamins dissolve in water. Your body can’t store these vitamins. Any B or C vitamins that your body doesn’t use travels through the bloodstream and is lost . So you need a fresh supply of these vitamins every day.

Vitamins are organic substances, which means theyre made by plants or animals. Minerals are inorganic elements that come from soil and water, and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. Your body needs larger amounts of some minerals, such as calcium, to grow and stay healthy. Other minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc are called trace minerals because you need only very small amounts of them.

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General Information And Role Of Vitamins

A vitamin is an organic substance that is essential, at very low doses, for the body.

Vitamins are substances required for life that play an important role in nutrient absorption and utilisation. As the body is unable to produce these substances on its own , vitamin intake is strictly dependent on dietary sources. Vitamins are primarily of plant origin and are thus more particularly found in fruit and vegetables.

A vitamin has no energy value, i.e. it does not release calories. It is nonetheless needed by the body to ensure normal overall function.

Vitamins help maintain life balance as they enable cells to utilise nutrients, which are sources of energy.

Each vitamin has specific functions and cannot be used to substitute any other vitamin. In the body, many reactions require the presence of multiple vitamins and a deficiency of any one of these may impede the function of the others.

Vitamins are categorised into two families:

  • Fat-soluble vitamins, stored in fat. These are vitamins A, D and E. Deficiencies may arise in the event of strict diets.
  • Water-soluble vitamins. These are B-complex group vitamins and vitamin C.

Tips On Use And Storage

Everything You Need to Know About Vitamins &  Supplements ...

Always check with your doctor first, especially about how much to take, Jones advises. Good rules to follow include:

  • Dont go over your recommended Daily Value for vitamins and minerals unless your doctor says its OK.
  • Multivitamins dont have 100% of your DV for calcium or magnesium. You may need a separate supplement.
  • Buy brands with USP, NSF, or another third-party seal of approval.

It may be easier to remember to take your vitamins if you keep them in your bathroom. But light, moisture, and medicine can make a poor combo. Keep your supplements somewhere cool and dry, such as on your dresser.

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Most Older Adults Take Some Kind Of Over

Over-the-counter dietary supplements are big business more than 90,000 products generate about $30 billion every year in the United States. Older adults make up a big part of these sales, too. A survey of almost 3,500 adults ages 60 and older published Oct. 1, 2017, in The Journal of Nutrition found that 70% use a daily supplement , 54% take one or two supplements, and 29% take four or more.

But are these pills good medicine, or a waste of money?

“Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet,” says Dr. JoAnn Manson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “And they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.”

How To Increase Vitamin B12 Levels

Food: When possible, it is always best to get your nutrients through food. Foods highest in B12 include beef liver, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, lamb, salmon, eggs, and milk products.

Supplementation: The route of delivery and type of supplement you use depends on a few different factors. If you are significantly deficient and symptomatic, you will benefit most from intramuscular injections of B12 initially.

In our practice, we prefer using sublingual B12 versus oral B12 because some patients have difficulty absorbing oral B12 as a result of low stomach acid, impaired intrinsic factor, or intestinal inflammation. When using sublingual B12, we prefer methylcobalamin versus cyanocobalamin because methylcobalamin is the active form used in the body, whereas cyanocobalamin must be converted prior to use in the body.

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Are There Any Risks In Taking Supplements

Yes. Many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations and hurt or complicate your health. For example, the following actions could lead to harmful even life-threatening consequences.

  • Combining supplements
  • Using supplements with medicines
  • Substituting supplements for prescription medicines
  • Taking too much of some supplements, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, or ironSome supplements can also have unwanted effects before, during, and after surgery. So, be sure to inform your healthcare provider, including your pharmacist about any supplements you are taking.

Bumps On Hips And Hands

Vitamins: What Do You Really Need to Know
  • Vitamin D deficiency. Research showed that people who lack vitamin D often suffer from periodontitis.

What to do:

  • A diet which includes foods rich in calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D is very important for the health of your teeth. Eat dairy products, brown rice, tomatoes, beans, fish, citrus, and grapes.

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Quiz: What Vitamin Supplements Do I Need

Most people find it hard to eat some of the things that give the body the vitamins required to grow and run their normal functions. Have you been having problems choosing the correct vitamin supplements to meet your needs? The quiz below is designed to help you with that. Give it a shot and try the results you get!

  • 1. Do you or have you in the past suffered from any form of Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder ?
  • A.& nbsp
  • 2. Do you often crave high-carbohydrate foods such as candy, sweets, pasta, and chips especially in the afternoon or evening?
  • A.& nbsp
  • Do you have or is there a family history of alcohol issues?
  • A.& nbsp
  • Do you regularly have 2 or more cups of coffee or caffeinated beverages a day?
  • A.& nbsp
  • 5. Do you or do you think you might have a thyroid problem ?
  • A.& nbsp
  • Do you or have you in the past ever smoked cigarettes?
  • A.& nbsp
  • Do you always feel tired or have low energy?
  • A.& nbsp
  • Do you have or think you have the inattentive type of ADD / ADHD ?
  • A.& nbsp
  • Do you or do you think you have the hyperactive type of ADHD?
  • A.& nbsp
  • Do you find yourself easily annoyed and stressed out lately?
  • A.& nbsp
  • Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep?
  • A.& nbsp
  • Where To Get A Vitamin And Mineral Deficiency Test

    NHS vitamin and mineral tests The NHS offers blood tests that can be done at your GPs or a local hospital. A trained nurse or doctor will take your blood, usually a venous sample.

    Home vitamin and mineral tests Its possible to order home vitamin and mineral test kits online and do it yourself. For this test, youll use a lancet to collect a finger-prick blood sample. Your results will be reviewed by a GP and are available for you to view online.

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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.


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