A Closer Look At Water
Water-soluble vitamins are packed into the watery portions of the foods you eat. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down during digestion or as a supplement dissolves.
Because much of your body consists of water, many of the water-soluble vitamins circulate easily in your body. Your kidneys continuously regulate levels of water-soluble vitamins, shunting excesses out of the body in your urine.
- Folic acid
A Closer Look At Major Minerals
The body needs, and stores, fairly large amounts of the major minerals. These minerals are no more important to your health than the trace minerals theyre just present in your body in greater amounts.
Major minerals travel through the body in various ways. Potassium, for example, is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, where it circulates freely and is excreted by the kidneys, much like a water-soluble vitamin. Calcium is more like a fat-soluble vitamin because it requires a carrier for absorption and transport.
Vitamin C And Targeted Therapy
Targeted therapies are a newer treatment for cancer that target specific pathways in the growth of cancer cells. In animal studies, vitamin C appeared to reduce the anti-cancer activity of the targeted therapy Velade . Velcade is used for people with multiple myeloma and some types of lymphoma.
Some of the risk may be more theoretical. A 2007 review of studies from 1966 to 2007 found no evidence that antioxidant supplements interfered with chemotherapy, and some researchers believe that antioxidants may help to protect normal cells without interfering with the effectiveness of cancer therapy. This review included studies using glutathione, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, ellagic acid, selenium, and beta-carotene and concluded that antioxidants may improve tumor response to treatment and survival rates, in addition to aiding patients’ tolerance to treatment.
Another systematic review of 33 studies found evidence that using antioxidants with chemotherapy resulted in less toxicity, which in turn allowed people to complete full doses of therapy. The exception was one study which showed an increase in toxicity in those using a vitamin A supplement. This review evaluated studies using N-acetylcysteine, vitamin E, selenium, L-carnitine, Coenzyme Q10, and ellagic acid.
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Postnatal Challenge #: Nutrient Depletion & Breastfeeding
How Postnatal Vitamins can help: Premama postnatal vitamins contain higher amounts of vitamins A, C, D, K, thiamin, niacin, K1, Calcium, Magnesium, and B Vitamins to replenish your body. Using postnatal vitamins for nursing ensures your breast milk is fortified with everything baby needs while also ensuring that you arent further depleted through breastfeeding. Note: it does not increase milk production. We have a separate supplement for that: Lactation Support .
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Where Should We Get Our Vitamins
Our experts agree that the best source of vitamins is our diet. Whole, fresh, unprocessed foods provide the vitamins our bodies crave. Board certified rehabilitation specialist Dr. Scott Schreiber focuses on obtaining vitamins from whole foods. “Whole foods are the best source of vitamins and minerals,” he tells us. “If it grows from the ground, the way nature intended it, vitamins and minerals occur in their most natural states and can be absorbed the easiest.”
It’s also important to remember that heat can alter the makeup of the vitamins in food. “Cooking methods alter the nutritional status of fresh foods, especially the water-soluble vitamins,” nutritionist Amanda Henham of Vaga Nutrition explains. “So mixing up raw and cooked foods throughout the day is ideal.”
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of these vital nutrients. Vitamin A can be found in orange-colored vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. Henham recommends eating healthy fats like avocado and nuts to obtain vitamin E and leafy greens for vitamin K.
For the water soluble vitamins, reach for brightly colored fruits and vegetables like oranges, bell peppers, and berries.
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Supplements Dont Replace A Healthy Diet
So, youve looked at your diet and found a few gaps is now the time to reach for the supplements? Not just yet.
Vitamins and minerals from foods typically work better than those found in pills. Making positive changes to your diet means youll benefit from eating whole foods, rather than just isolated nutrients.
For example, vegetables are rich in different vitamins, but their goodness doesnt stop there. They also provide us with fibre, which slows our digestion rate and gives our bodies time to absorb nutrients. Vegetables also contain other health promoting compounds like phytochemicals. If youre not eating enough vegetables, supplements may compensate to a degree, but they dont replace the real thing.
Whats The Best Time To Take Supplements
Generally speaking, supplements are better taken in the morning versus nighttime since digestion slows down during sleep. Do review the product label and take as directed.
Whats more important is consistency. We recommend that you connect the practice of taking your supplements with another aspect of your daily routine such as while making your morning coffee, after brushing your teeth, or after a workout.
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High Doses Of Vitamin Supplements Are Unsafe
Many people mistakenly believe that since small amounts of vitamins are good for you, then large amounts must be better. However, it is better to follow the rule of less is more.
Taking higher than recommended doses of some vitamins may cause health problems. Such as:
- Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble, which means they are stored in the body and if taken in high doses can be toxic.
- High doses of some water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin B6, can also become toxic.
- Large folate intakes can hide vitamin B12 deficiencies.
- High levels of vitamin B6 have also been linked to some types of nerve damage.
- Doses of vitamin C above one gram can cause diarrhoea.
- Large doses of vitamin C may also cause nausea, abdominal cramps, headaches, fatigue, kidney stones interfere with your bodys ability to process other nutrients such as dangerously raising your iron levels.
- Excessive amounts of vitamin C in the body can also interfere with medical tests such as diabetes tests, by giving a false result.
- High doses of vitamin A may cause birth defects, as well as central nervous system, liver, bone and skin disorders.
- High-dose vitamin E supplements have been linked to higher rates of early death .
How To Choose The Right Supplements
Not all supplements are made alike. Its important to choose products from well-established brands. My colleague, Kristy Appelhans, Vice President, Global Consumer Safety, offers the following tips to consider when choosing nutritional supplements:
- Look at the companys website and explore its commitment to scientific research and development.
- Review the ingredients of the product. Do some research to weigh the pros and cons and see what the experts say.
- Find out how they source their ingredients, how they manufacture their products, and if the product is compatible with your specific conditions, dietary restrictions, or other preferences.
- Take time to explore the level of testing the company conducts on its ingredients.
Do consult with your health care provider for recommendations on specific supplementation needs. And always choose products from a trusted and reputable company that provides clear and accurate information and helps you live a healthy life.
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Vitamins And Minerals In Supplements
Your doctor may recommend certain vitamins and supplements to help you stay healthy after treatment.
Multivitamin. A regular multivitamin may help you get essential vitamins and minerals to improve your overall health.
Probiotics. Probiotics help boost immunity, says Tara Scott, MD, a womens health specialist in Akron, OH. This may help you stay healthy after your treatment. Probiotics have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help protect against cancer. But there isnt enough research yet to know for sure.
Vitamin D. Experts say theres a link between low levels of vitamin D and breast cancer. Theres no evidence a vitamin D supplement will lower your risk of recurrence, but your doctor may recommend it for your overall health.
Getting What You Need Through Food
Before you head to the supplements aisle, its wise to look at your diet. If youre eating a balanced and varied diet, youre probably getting enough of each nutrient and importantly, youll be getting them in the right amounts.
Whats more, when we eat vitamin and mineral-rich foods, were eating them alongside other nutrients that can support our bodies to absorb and use them. For example, calcium is better absorbed in our gut when its consumed with lactose both of which are naturally found in dairy products like milk and yoghurt.
Eating a balanced diet means focussing on foods from the five core food groups. As a starting point, check out the recommended food group serves for women and men. For most healthy Australians, this will give you all the nutrients you need for health no supplements needed!
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Speak With Your Health Professional
Speak with your doctor or health professional before taking supplements. Your doctor can help you determine a safe and effective dose. Not only will this help you address your health needs, itll also save you from spending money on supplements you dont need .
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can help you find ways to address your vitamin and mineral needs through your diet.
Fish Oil Supplements: Choose Fish Or Flaxseed Instead
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil has been touted as a means to reduce heart disease. However, more and more evidence shows that fish oil supplements have questionable heart benefits. A study published January 3, 2019, in The New England Journal of Medicine found that omega-3 fatty acid supplements did nothing to reduce heart attacks, strokes, or deaths from heart disease in middle-aged and older men and women without any known risk factors for cardiovascular disease. An earlier study, published in May 2013 in NEJM, looked at people at high risk for cardiovascular disease and also reported no benefit.
According to the NIH, omega-3 deficiency is very rare in the United States. Still, many people fail to consume enough omega-3s daily for optimal health. The best way to get adequate amounts is by eating a variety of foods that are rich in them, including:
- Fish and other seafood, especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines
- Nuts and seeds, such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts
- Plant oils, such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil
- Fortified foods, such as certain brands of eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, and soy beverages
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Vitamins & Supplements: Understanding The Labels
Vitamins, minerals, and supplements are manufactured in a variety of standard measurements, the most common of which are:
- IU = International Unit
In addition, it is helpful to know that:
- AMDR = Adult Minimum Daily Requirement
- MDR = Daily Minimum Daily Requirement
- RDA = Recommended Daily Requirement
I believe that the basic vitamins/supplements which everyone should be taking are a good multivitamin, extra vitamin C, a calcium/magnesium/zinc combination, and potassium.
A good multivitamin is essential because we do not eat perfectly whether we are low carbers or not. Our food choices are often dictated by what is available, what we like to eat, and what we can afford. Even though we do strive to eat healthily, not many of us keep the extremely detailed records needed to ensure that we are getting all the nutrients and micro-nutrients we need. We simply dont have the inclination, or if we do, then we dont have the time. A good multivitamin is a nutritional insurance policy and guarantees that we dont lack basic, essential elements in our diet. I will discuss how to choose a good multivitamin in more depth later in the article.
But who can remember what Multivitamin A provides when compared with Multivitamins B and C, especially if they are from different Internet sites or different stores? Youd have to have a photographic memory, something I long for but simply do not possess.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need
From about late March/early April to the end of September, the majority of people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin.
Children from the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Babies up to the age of 1 year need 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day.
A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol followed by the letter g .
Sometimes the amount of vitamin D is expressed as International Units . 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU. So 10 micrograms of vitamin D is equal to 400 IU.
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Dietary Sources Vs Supplements
We don’t have as many studies looking at the use of antioxidants during cancer treatment, but the use of these supplements with the goal of cancer prevention has revealed some interesting findings. For example, seeing how a high dietary intake of beta-carotene was associated with a lower risk of developing lung cancer, a large study looking at the use of a beta-carotene supplement found that the risk of lung cancer was actually increased. Similar were findings with prostate cancer, in which dietary vitamin E is associated with a lower risk, but a study evaluating vitamin E supplements found an increased risk.
In general, the rule for getting vitamins and minerals during cancer treatment is “food first.”
Theories have been proposed to explain this. Perhaps there are phytochemicals in food aside from beta-carotene that are responsible for the cancer prevention properties. Another theory that’s been proposed is that receiving one antioxidant as a supplement may result in the body absorbing less or using less, of another important antioxidant.
Sometimes taking a supplement for one concern may raise another concern. An example is a study in which people with melanoma were treated with selenium. Researchers found that the supplement was associated with a lower risk of developing a second cancer in the lungs, colon, or prostate, but was also associated with an elevated risk of diabetes.
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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What Are The Different Types Of Supplements
Supplements are meant to be consumed as a source of nutrients to address either a known gap or, more often, to establish a consistent intake of a certain set of nutrients. Many consumers also take dietary supplements for specific health or functional benefits.
Through innovation and technology, these products now come in a variety of forms, including capsules, powders, gummies, chews, functional beverages, and other alternative formats to suit consumer interests and preferences.
Here is a brief overview of the most popular supplements:
What Vitamins And Minerals Do Humans Need
11 Essential Vitamins and Minerals Your Body Needs
- VITAMIN A. GOOD FOR: Healthy eyes and general growth and development, including healthy teeth and skin.
- B VITAMINS. GOOD FOR: Energy production, immune function and iron absorption.
- VITAMIN C.
What are the 13 vitamins your body needs?
The 13 essential vitamins your body needs are vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins: thiamine , riboflavin , niacin , pantothenic acid , pyroxidine , biotin , folate and cobalamin . The four fat-soluble vitaminsA, D, E, and Kare stored in the bodys fatty tissues.
why do we need vitamins and minerals?Vitamins and minerals
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Vitamin Pills Are Not Miracle Cures
It is commonly believed that taking mega-doses of certain vitamins will act like medicine to cure or prevent certain ailments. For instance, vitamin C is suggested as a cure for the common cold, and vitamin E is widely promoted as a beneficial antioxidant to help prevent heart disease.
After extensive research, however, neither of these claims has been shown to be true. Large-scale studies have consistently shown little benefit in taking mega-doses of supplements. In fact, there is some evidence that taking high-dose supplements to prevent or cure major chronic diseases , may be harmful to your health.