What Vitamins Should You Take Daily
It is estimated that about half of American adults take some type of vitamin or mineral supplement.
People might take supplements if they know theyre missing a certain food group, says Patton. Others might take supplements for the antioxidant benefits or because they know they dont eat fruits and vegetables. Some people may have a true deficiency.
Everyones vitamin needs are different, so its a good idea to talk to your doctor or registered dietitian before starting to take supplements. They can help you decide which products to take, or if you need to take any at all. Your doctor and pharmacist can also tell you if a supplement would interact badly with any medications you are taking, which may cause health problems.
Is It Healthy To Take Vitamins Every Day
When you are researching supplements, and before you start to take them you need to check if you need to take them every day. There are numerous vitamins to take daily and your research will determine the right ones for you.
Determining if you are an eligible candidate for a vitamin boost will depend on your age, if you are taking specific medication and if you dont have easy access to healthy foods. If you dont fall into any of the above categories, then it is best to consult your physician before taking a combination of vitamins.
Please remember that vitamins are only considered supplements and cannot replace an entire meal. If you are eager to get the most out of the vitamins we have mentioned above, then the best thing to do is to stock up on healthy food options in your home.
Those nutrient-dense foods can do you a lot of good in the long run. If you are still considering a daily vitamin routine, first, examine your dietary plan, consult with a professional, and overall listen to what your body has to say. It is of utmost importance to address the needs of your body, so make sure to listen to it very carefully.
Vitamin supplements are an incredible option we have available to us in the present day, so we are only hoping you will make the right choice for you when deciding what vitamins to take daily!
Have you been taking vitamins for some time now? What vitamins do you usually take? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.
Recommended Sodium Intake For Older Adults
Sodium is another important mineral. In most Americans diets, sodium primarily comes from salt . Whenever you add salt to your food, you’re adding sodium. But the Dietary Guidelines shows that most of the sodium we eat doesnt come from our saltshakers its added to many foods during processing or preparation. We all need some sodium, but too much over time can lead to high blood pressure, which can raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
How much sodium is okay? People 51 and older should reduce their sodium intake to 2,300 mg each day. That is about one teaspoon of salt and includes sodium added during manufacturing or cooking as well as at the table when eating. If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day, about 2/3 teaspoon of salt, may be helpful. Preparing your own meals at home without using a lot of processed foods or salt will allow you to control how much sodium you get. Try using less salt when cooking, and dont add salt before you take the first bite. If you make this change slowly, you will get used to the difference in taste. Also look for grocery products marked low sodium, unsalted, no salt added, sodium free, or salt free. Also check the Nutrition Facts Label to see how much sodium is in a serving.
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How To Choose The Right Multivitamin
When it comes to multivitamins, theres a dizzying array of options, from pills to powders to liquids to gummies, touting a multitude of benefits. Sometimes, those claims are unsubstantiated, making it even harder to select the right one.
My best advice is to stick with trusted national brands. When it comes to quality, products that are third-party certified by groups like NSF International or the U.S. Pharmacopeia Corporation can provide added reassurance.
Because micronutrient needs vary based on age, gender, amount of physical activity and other factors, many manufacturers offer targeted formulations for specific subpopulations, including prenatal, women, men, seniors, children and even athletes. These products can be a smart choice for meeting specialized micronutrient needs while avoiding excess intake.
Taking a supplement every day will not let you off the hook when it comes to eating well, and multivitamins arent a magic pill nor a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Their purpose is to fill nutritional gaps that you may not know exist. Thats why I take one every dayjust in case.
When Supplements Are Helpful
While I recommend trying to meet daily nutrient requirements from whole foods, in some cases this isnt always feasible.
Certain supplements are useful to bridge dietary nutrient gaps. Theyre also needed to treat vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Women who are planning to become pregnant or who could become pregnant should take a daily multivitamin that provides 0.4 mg of folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects, birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord.
If you follow a vegan diet, taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement is an important way to get your daily iodine, a mineral found in dairy and seafood thats needed to make thyroid hormones, as well as vitamin B12.
Naturally-occurring B12 is found only in animal foods. Its needed to maintain healthy nerve function and to make red blood cells and DNA.
Vegetarian or not, its recommended that adults over 50 get most of their daily B12 from a supplement, like a multivitamin or B complex, or fortified foods. Thats because many older adults dont produce enough gastric acid needed to absorb B12 from foods.
I also recommend a daily multivitamin for individuals who take a medication that can reduce the absorption of vitamin B12 from diet .
If you follow a low-calorie diet to lose weight or you eat a very narrow diet, a multivitamin and mineral supplement can provide some nutrient coverage.
Vitamin D plays a major role in calcium absorption, bone health, muscle performance and balance.
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Other Vitamin Timing Faqs
FYI: Certain vitamins work better together. Vitamin D and magnesium help your body absorb calciumwhich is why youll often see the three paired in the same pill. Vitamin B12 and vitamin C help your body process folic acid, while vitamin C also improves iron absorption. Thats especially important for vegetarians, because the iron in plant-based foods is absorbed only half as well as iron found in meat, fish, and poultry, says Brissette. The vitamins in foods count, tooso consider downing your iron supplement with a glass of vitamin C-rich OJ.
Brissette adds that some prenatals and multis require you to take two or three pillsand you cant just swallow all three at once and be done with it. The reason theyre separated is because its meant to be taken at different times of the day, she says. If remembering to take a supplement multiple times a day sounds daunting, you may want to opt for a vitamin that contains a full days dose in one capsule. And if you’re looking to keep things simple …a one-a-day multi might be your best bet.
Are Multivitamins Actually Good For You
Nearly half of adults in the U.S. take a daily multivitamin, and that number increases to 70 percent for adults over 70 years old. But does that mean a daily multivitamin should be part of everyone’s health regimen? According to Dr. Cherian, the answer isn’t as clear-cut as a simple yes or no.
“Most people take vitamins because they want to be on top of their health and make sure they’re getting all the vitamins they need, in case they aren’t getting enough from their regular diets,” he says. “It may seem like common sense to be taking multivitamins, but there actually isn’t much evidence that a daily cocktail of essential vitamins and minerals actually delivers what you expect.”
In fact, most studies have found no significant benefit from taking a daily multivitamin in protecting the brain or heart, or preventing cancer. Despite the general claims that multivitamins are good for X or Y health goals, these are not necessarily backed by research yet.
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What The Experts Do
Healthy Food Instead of Supplements
I dont take any supplements routinely, says Larry Appel, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research. I try to eat three healthy meals a day to get the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients I need. How he does it:
- Plenty of produce. I aim for two or more servings of fruits or vegetables at every meal, he says. I enjoy salads and have one for lunch or dinner several times a week.
- Low-fat dairy and whole grains. Low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt provide calcium, magnesium, potassium and other nutrients, he says. I have cereal with milk for breakfast a few times a week. And I have yogurt sometimes too.
- Protein. At home we usually have fish or chicken for dinner. I am not a vegetarian rather, I eat minimal meat, Appel says. Some fish, such as salmon, are a good source of healthful omega-3 fatty acids.
Supplements And Your Prescriptions
Even essential nutrients can interfere with many common medications. If you take a traditional blood thinner like warfarin, just the small amount of vitamin K in an MVM can cut its strength. Taking more than 1,000 mg of vitamin E per day can raise your risk for bleeding. And if you take thyroid medication, taking calcium, magnesium, or iron within 4 hours can cut its strength. Ask your doctor about how best to time it.
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When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamin D And Other Fat
Fat-soluble vitamins require fat for your body to absorb them. They include:
For maximum absorption, the best time to take vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins is after youve eaten foods that contain fat. And you dont need much: Dr. Perez-Gallardo says even small amounts of low- or whole-fat milk or yogurt will do the trick. So will eating food cooked with oil.
When Is The Best Time Of Day To Take Prenatal Vitamins
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women may benefit from taking prenatal vitamins because of their extra requirement for essential nutrients. However, it is advised that pregnant women or those on medication check with a healthcare professional before taking vitamin or mineral supplements.
- As with traditional multivitamins, prenatal vitamins are best taken in the morning and as part of your daily routine.
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Look For Quality Checks
Since the FDA doesnât regulate supplements, look for brands that have been âverifiedâ by one of the three companies that test supplements in the U.S.: Pharmacopeia, Consumer Lab, or NSF International. These testing organizations verify that whatâs on the label is in the bottle in the right amounts.
Are Vitamins And Supplements Really Necessary
In a perfect world, we would all eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and we would all exercise regularly, but thats not reality, said TODAY health and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom, professor of psychiatry, epidemiology and surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
People can be strapped for time or money and don’t meet their daily nutrient needs. And you also have to remember that many studies look at large population groups, rather than individuals.
That means that some people may benefit from a little supplementation, simply to bring them up to the daily recommended requirements for certain vitamins and minerals, said Fernstrom.
To help you sort through the morass, the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements provides fact sheets of the latest information on a wealth of individual vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements.
Many people want to take some kind of supplement, so which vitamins are OK to take regularly? Which should we avoid?
Heres a quick run-down of a few that might help. By no means is this list conclusive, just a heads up.
Remember, when choosing a supplement, look for seals of approval from the United States Pharmacopoeia , NSF International or ConsumerLab.com , to help validate purity.
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Are There Risks Of Multivitamins
One of the biggest arguments against the use of multivitamins is that it can lead to slightly excessive intake of certain nutrients. Indeed, a recent study I conducted alongside colleagues shows that consistent multivitamin use results in slightly excessive intakes for calcium, folic acid, selenium and zinc in a small portion of middle-age to older adults however blood levels of these nutrients remained within clinically acceptable rangesWallace TC, Frankenfeld CL, Frei B, Shah AV, Yu CR, van Klinken BJ, Adeleke M. Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement Use is Associated with Increased Micronutrient Intakes and Biomarkers and Decreased Prevalence of Inadequacies and Deficiencies in Middle-Aged and Older Adults in the United States. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2019 38:307-328. .
While excessive intake of certain nutrients through multivitamins has been documented, it underscores the importance of reading the label and talking with a registered dietitian nutritionist about your supplement regimen. For me, on days Im eating healthy, I take half of my multivitamin.
Be wary of products that provide far more than the daily value for various micronutrients , and be sure to examine the ingredients in other supplements youre taking to prevent excessive intakes. Multivitamins wont contain the full daily value for all micronutrients, such as calcium, magnesium and choline, because youd end up with a pill too big to swallow.
Don’t Wash Them Down With A Cuppa
Swallow supplements with a big glass of water: fluid intake is important for the disintegration of the supplement and for the dissolution of water-soluble nutrients, such as B vitamins and vitamin C.
But skip the coffee: caffeine can interfere with absorption of nutrients. And as its a diuretic, it could also mean you excrete your water-soluble vitamins before you absorb them. Its best to wait for an hour after drinking coffee to take any supplements. The same goes for tea, energy drinks and any food that contains caffeine.
THINK twice about a multivitamin: taking one as a general health insurance policy might be a waste of money because some of the nutrients can compete for absorption, meaning you may not get the full doses of everything it contains.
Studies show we absorb around 99 per cent of vitamin C taken as a single supplement but less than 50 per cent when in a multivitamin, says pharmacist Aidan Goggins.
Plus, because they contain water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, taking them on an empty stomach will mean you dont absorb much of the fat-soluble ones, while taking with a meal may impair absorption of the water-soluble ones.
Dont eat nuts before taking minerals: phytic acid a form of phosphorus found in plant-based foods, such as bran, beans and nuts binds to minerals in the gut, including iron, calcium and magnesium, creating phytates.
Our bodies cant break down phytates, meaning minerals bound to them wont be properly absorbed.
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Should I Take A Dietary Supplement
Eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to get the nutrients you need. However, some people may not get enough vitamins and minerals from their daily diet. When thats the case, their doctors may recommend a dietary supplement to provide missing nutrients.
If you are thinking about using dietary supplements:
What Is The Worst Time To Take A Multivitamin
For many people, the only wrong time to pop that multivitamin is on an empty stomach, especially if they tend to have a sensitive system.
“Sometimes, taking a multivitamin can upset someone’s stomach if they take it without food,” says Jamie Alan, Ph.D., an associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University.
Ferira concurs with this important caveat: “For some people, the morning is simply not an ideal time to take their multivitamin because some individuals’ stomachs can’t tolerate such a hefty mineral load in the initial hours of the day. I know I can’t. Personalized nutrition honors these individual differences and pivots one’s approach. For me, my daily multi is taken every day with my lunch.”
Vitamin C, iron, zinc, and other minerals, in particular, can be harsh for an empty GI system to process. : to ensure they’re gentle on your stomach and absorbed as effectively as possible.*
One other consideration: Some vitamins, like vitamin B12, can have an energizing effect in some people and therefore have the potential to interfere with your sleep, Alan says.*
If you notice that taking your multivitamin later in the day leaves you staring at the ceiling come bedtime, try switching your routine to the morning or midday, she suggests.
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Best Time To Take B Vitamins
The best time to take B vitamins is after you wake up. There are also some data suggesting that taking vitamin B in the afternoon can affect your sleep. To avoid a B-complex affecting your sleep, you should take your B vitamins in the morning, preferably with a meal to maximize their absorption. Its safe to take several B vitamins all at once.