Vitamin And Mineral Supplements Can Be Dangerous
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.
Vitamins and mineral supplements can also interfere with prescription medicines and medical treatments. In extreme cases, for example, where people take 100 times the recommended dietary intake , this can stop the work of anticonvulsant drugs, such as those used in epilepsy.
Folate And Folic Acid
Why you need it Folate is a general term thats used to describe the many different forms of vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 is one of the eight B vitamins. Its important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. And its particularly important for women to ingest folate during the first three weeks of pregnancy to prevent birth defects.
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate that is used in supplements and in fortified foods.
How to get it It can be difficult for some to get the daily recommended amount of folate through foods alone. Keep in mind that many of us are still not getting enough fruits, vegetables and legumes our best sources for folate, Ilic says. Increasing your daily consumption can be easier than you think, though.
You can get more folate naturally simply by increasing your intake of these foods:
- Leafy green vegetables.
- Fruits especially citrus fruits, melons and strawberries.
- Fruit juice .
- Legumes such as dried beans, lentils and peas.
Because we needed extra help in getting the full amount of folate and folic acid in our diets, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also requires that folic acid be added to enrich the following foods .
- Certain breads.
- Other grain products .
The 5 Best Vitamins For Hair Growth
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Many people view healthy-looking hair as a sign of health or beauty. Like any other part of your body, hair needs a variety of nutrients to be healthy and grow . In fact, many nutritional deficiencies are linked to hair loss.
While factors such as age, genetics and hormones also affect hair growth, optimal nutrient intake is key. Below are 5 vitamins and 3 other nutrients that may be important for hair growth.
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What Supplements Should I Take For Coronavirus
- The recent COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak causes a variety of telltale signs and symptoms, ranging from fever and dry cough, to more extreme symptoms requiring immediate medical help such as difficulty breathing and confusion.
- We do not currently have any antiviral medications that specifically cure or treat COVID-19, so treatment will usually involve managing symptoms with supportive treatments.
- COVID-19vaccines are now available in order to help protect you from becoming infected with the virus.
- If you have relatively mild COVID-19 symptoms and dont have any other medical conditions that would put you at high risk for developing complications of COVID-19 , these vitamins and supplements might help strengthen your immune system to fight coronavirus.
- It is important to note that no vitamin or supplement can cure COVID-19, nor is there solid evidence any non-FDA-approved vitamin or supplement has any effect on COVID-19. Immune supporting effects of supplements and vitamins in the context of the coronavirus is theoretical.
- Vitamins and supplements may interact with one another in your system and with prescription or over-the-counter medications. Notify your doctor about all the drugs and supplements you are taking, and do not start a vitamin regimen without consulting your physician.
Vitamin Supplements For Vegans: Conclusion
After dealing with such a long list of vitamins and minerals that vegan diets are believed to lack, it’s only natural that you may be wondering if eating vegan is the right choice for your health.
The good news is that, yes, it is! A well-planned vegan diet can give you everything you need as long as you make sure you’re supplementing key nutrients with quality products. Whether you’re looking to boost energy, immunity, ease stress, sleep better, or give your appearance the ultimate glow, you can combat all nutrient deficiencies in 2020 by just remembering to take your daily vitamins.
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Vegan Dietary Supplements Faq
Can you be vegan without supplements?
You can be vegan without supplements for most nutrients as long as your diet is balanced and nutritionally dense, but you should always supplement vitamin B12, vitamin D, and DHA/EPA omega-3 as you cannot obtain thee nutrients from a plant-based diet alone.
How long after becoming vegan do I need to take supplements?
You need to take supplements for vitamin D and DHA/EPA omega-3 soon after you become vegan, while vitamin B12 can be stored in your liver for up to five years after going vegan though we wouldn’t recommend waiting that long!
What vitamins and supplements should I take when starting vegan?
You should take between 500 and 1000mcg vitamin B12, 50mcg vitamin D, and 650mcg omega-3 when going vegan.
What supplements are not vegan?
There are vegan-friendly versions for all major nutrients but supplements containing gelatin, carmine, or dairy byproducts are not vegan.
What supplements does a pregnant vegan woman need to take?
A pregnant vegan woman needs to take Folate, iodine supplements , vitamin B12 , vitamin D , omega-3 , and possibly iron and magnesium .
Best vitamins for women who are vegan?
The best vitamins for women who are vegan are iron, vitamin B12, iodine, vitamin D, and EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
How do toddlers get vitamins on a vegan diet?
Toddlers get vitamins on a vegan diet by supplementing lower amounts of vitamin B12 , vitamin D , and non-ALA omega-3 or taking a vegan kids multivitamin.
The 13 Essential Vitamins
At the most basic level, vitamins are essential organic substances your bodys cells require to function, grow, develop and heal properly. There are 13 essential vitamins: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins, B6, B12, biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine. A major deficiency in any one of these vitamins could lead to serious health problems.
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What Should You Look For When You Pick A Supplement
- Choose one that provides a variety of vitamins and minerals rather than a supplement that provides only a single vitamin or mineral .
- Pick one that, along with the foods you eat, provides the Recommended Dietary Allowance for each vitamin and mineral. Supplements that provide a lot more than the RDA can cause health problems. This is especially important for minerals and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. These are stored more easily in the body, and they can build up to dangerous levels.
- Check the expiration date. Do not buy supplements that have expired or that will expire before you can finish the bottle.
- If the supplement has a Natural Product Number or a Homeopathic Medicine Number , the supplement meets Health Canada’s standards for safety, quality, and health claims.
- Check the label for other ingredients. Some supplements may contain food ingredients, such as wheat, corn, eggs, or gelatin. If you have a food allergy or are sensitive to these foods, look for supplements that don’t have those ingredients.
Interactingin Good Ways And Bad
Many micronutrients interact. Vitamin D enables your body to pluck calcium from food sources passing through your digestive tract rather than harvesting it from your bones. Vitamin C helps you absorb iron.
The interplay of micronutrients isnt always cooperative, however. For example, vitamin C blocks your bodys ability to assimilate the essential mineral copper. And even a minor overload of the mineral manganese can worsen iron deficiency.
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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
Signs Youve Chosen The Right Multivitamin
As kids, many of us took daily chewable multivitamins, and for a lot of us, that habit has continued into adulthood about one-third of American adults take multivitamins.
Some people take multivitamins for the comfort of knowing theyre filling potential nutrient gaps. Others take them with the belief that theyre boosting their immune system, improving their brain function or skin tone, or enhancing hair health or health in general.
People who benefit from taking an appropriate multivitamin include:
- Those who are eating or absorbing fewer calories
- Some older individuals
- People who have undergone bariatric surgery
Some multivitamins claim to support heart health, but results from the Physicians Health Study II and Womens Health Study suggest that long-term use of multivitamins does not reduce risk of stroke, heart attack, or cardiovascular mortality. Additionally, a recent meta-analysis that included 18 studies, 2,099,262 participants, and 18,363,326 person years, reported that multivitamins did not lower the incidence of stroke or mortality from stroke, cardiovascular or coronary heart disease.
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Best Vitamins For Women Over 50
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Women over 50 are prone to nutrient deficiencies. The good news is vitamins for women over 50 have come a long way. But first, lets talk about why you need to get serious about your nutrients as you enter perimenopause, menopause, and beyond.
Aging is a beautiful experience but it frankly comes with some tough pills to swallow. Youre likely well-acquainted with several of agings less than pleasant side effects, but one you might not be aware of is the that happens as you get older.
Due to less stomach acid, your body is not able to absorb nutrients as well as it used to. This in combination with a decreased need for as many calories can cause nutritional deficiencies.
If youre over the age of 50, its very important to eat a healthy diet rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables but it also may be necessary to supplement with additional vitamins.
Below, we cover the best vitamins and multivitamins for women over 50.
What Age Should Kids Start Taking Vitamins
Do one-year-olds need vitamins? Should my seven-year-old take vitamins? How about teens? Its always best to get nutrients from food. However, as mentioned above, certain circumstance might warrant the need for supplements. The best vitamins for toddlers are those specifically designed for toddlers. Why? Because childrens nutrient needs vary, depending on a variety of factors such as age, sex, size, growth, and activity level. Heres an overview of specific vitamins that children of all ages may not get enough of.
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Vitamins And Iron On An Empty Stomach
Iron is better taken on an empty stomach, with water or orange juice. It shouldn’t be taken with calcium and vitamin E. If taking iron on an empty stomach causes stomach irritation, try eating a very light snack.
Most water-soluble vitamins can be taken on an empty stomach if you can tolerate it. That’s because your body only takes in what it needs and the rest is excreted through urine. These include vitamin C and the B vitamins. Taking them with food won’t decrease their effectiveness.
It’s always best to consult with your doctor when adding or changing your vitamins and supplements to make sure your body will benefit.
Who May Be At Risk For A Nutrient Deficiency
For those who eat a healthful diet, a multivitamin may have little or no benefit. A diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good protein sources, and healthful fats should provide most of the nutrients needed for good health. But not everyone manages to eat a healthful diet. When it comes to specific vitamins and minerals, some Americans get less than adequate amounts, according to criteria set by the National Academy of Medicine. For example, more than 90% of Americans get less than the Estimated Average Requirement for vitamin D and vitamin E from food sources alone.
Certain groups are at higher risk for a nutrient deficiency:
A note on vitamin D
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What Are The Best Supplements To Take During Covid
Whether eaten as a whole food or in the form of a pill, the following supplements may help keep you healthy and your immune system in top shape to combat coronavirus. Once again, benefits are theoretical.
Full of antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, elderberry syrup is used as a remedy for colds, flus, and bacterial sinus infections. Elderberry works by reducing swelling in the mucus membranes.
Some studies suggest elderberry extract reduces the duration of the flu, which is why some believe it may also help your immune system against coronavirus infection.
Mushrooms are high in selenium and B vitamins like riboflavin and niacin, which are needed to keep the immune system running optimally. Mushrooms are also high in polysaccharides, sugar-like molecules that boost immune function.
Astragalus is an herb, and its root is used in medicine. Typically used to strengthen the immune system and treat the common cold, upper respiratory infections, seasonal allergies, swine flu, astragalus is also used to fight bacteria and viruses.
Its effectiveness against illness doesnt have a lot of research behind it, although in treating seasonal allergies, 160 mg of astragalus root extract by mouth daily for 3-6 weeks was found to improve symptoms such as running nose, itching, and sneezing.
Garlics antiviral properties may be helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms in colds, flu or COVID-19 infections.
Ok But What About My Morning Multivitamin
First, calm down.
Im going to guess your doctor told you take a multivitamin every day.
If youre taking one supplement right now, I bet this is it.
So lets get into it. Believe it or not, the importance and effectiveness of multivitamins, the cornerstone of the health supplement industry, has been called into question. A massive study covering multivitamins determined that for a huge majority of healthy individuals with no deficiencies, multivitamins are largely unnecessary!
On October 10, 2011, researchers from the University of Minnesota evaluated 39,000 older women and found that those who took supplemental multivitamins, magnesium, zinc, copper, and iron died at rates higher than those who didnt. They concluded, Based on existing evidence, we see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements.
However, in another study different conclusions were drawn:
Some scientists believe there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against taking a daily multivitamin, because there isnt yet enough data from randomized controlled trials. Thats a reasonable but short-sighted point of view since it may never be possible to conduct randomized trials that are long enough to test the effects of multiple vitamins on risks of cancers, Alzheimers disease, and other degenerative conditions.
Because there are so many options, here are some things to consider when picking a multivitamin:
Ugh, Steve. So do I take one or not?! you say. Fine!
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Is There Really Any Benefit To Multivitamins
Half of all American adultsincluding 70 percent of those age 65 and oldertake a multivitamin or another vitamin or mineral supplement regularly. The total price tag exceeds $12 billion per yearmoney that Johns Hopkins nutrition experts say might be better spent on nutrient-packed foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
In an editorial in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine titled Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements, Johns Hopkins researchers reviewed evidence about supplements, including three very recent studies:
- An analysis of research involving 450,000 people, which found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for heart disease or cancer.
- A study that tracked the mental functioning and multivitamin use of 5,947 men for 12 years found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for mental declines such as memory loss or slowed-down thinking.
- A study of 1,708 heart attack survivors who took a high-dose multivitamin or placebo for up to 55 months. Rates of later heart attacks, heart surgeries and deaths were similar in the two groups.
Will a Daily Vitamin Help Keep Your Heart Healthy?