What The Numbers Mean
Many of the terms you see on labels or supplement web sites can help you understand how much of the vitamin or mineral you should take. For example, here are some guidelines set up by the Institute of Medicine:
The RDA and the AI are the amounts of a vitamin or mineral you need to keep healthy and stay well-nourished. They’re tailored to women, men, and specific age groups.
The UL is the maximum amount of daily vitamins and minerals that you can safely take without risk of an overdose or serious side effects. For certain nutrients, the higher you go above the UL, the greater the chance you’ll have problems.
The DV is the only measurement you’ll find on food and supplement labels. That’s because space is limited, and there’s a need for one single reference number. That number is the amount of a vitamin or nutrient that you should get for top health from a diet of 2,000 calories a day. The DV is sometimes the same as the RDA.
Although the details may be different, remember that the RDA and DV are both set up to help you get the nutrients you need to prevent disease and avoid problems caused by lack of nutrition.
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.
Antioxidants: Skip Them An Excess Of These Has Been Linked To An Increased Risk Of Certain Cancers And You Can Eat Berries Instead
Touted for their potential to protect against cancer, vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants found in many fruits and veggies especially berries.
But studies suggest that antioxidants can actually be harmful, at least when taken in the mega doses offered by some supplements.
A 2007 review of trials of several different types of antioxidant supplements found that people who took the pills were more likely to die of any cause than people who didn’t. Plus, a large long-term study of male smokers found that those who regularly took vitamin A were more likely to get lung cancer than those who didn’t.
Also Check: Where Can I Buy Vitamin K1
Vitamin B: Skip It And Eat Salmon Tuna Or Beets Instead
Vitamin B3 has been promoted as beneficial for treating everything from Alzheimer’s to heart disease. But recent studies have to the over-prescription of the nutrient.
The authors of a review of studies found that niacin was actually linked with a very small increase in the risk of death from any cause. And a large 2014 study of more than 25,000 people found that putting people with heart disease on long-acting doses of the pill didn’t reduce the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, or deaths. Plus, people in the study who took niacin were more likely to develop infections, liver problems, and internal bleeding than study participants who took a placebo.
Calcium: The Excess Settles In Your Arteries
Calcium is essential for strong bones and a healthy heart, but too much is not a good thing. In fact, an excess of calcium, which is described by the NIH as more than 2,500 mg per day for adults ages 19 to 50, and more than 2,000 mg per day for individuals 51 and over, can lead to problems.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, Researchers believe that without adequate vitamin D to help absorb it, the extra calcium settles in the arteries instead of the bones.
In addition, an analysis of 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 people in a federally funded heart disease study, published October 10, 2016, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, suggested that taking calcium supplements may increase plaque buildup in the aorta and other arteries. In contrast, a diet high in calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products and leafy greens, appeared to be protective.
Get calcium from your diet if you can, advises Dr. Millstine, noting that research shows that calcium is better absorbed through food than through supplements.
Calcium deficiency, or hypocalcemia, may be detected by routine blood tests. If you have low calcium blood levels, your doctor may prescribe a calcium supplement.
Read Also: What Does Your Body Need Vitamin D For
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.
Why Take A Supplement
Speaking with our experts, we found that they agree there are plenty of groups of people who could benefit from a supplement regimen. “With a huge increase in chronic disease and ill health, medication use, and poor dietary choices, we are seeing many individuals lacking basic nutrition from food,” says nutritionist Amanda Henham of Vaga Nutrition. “Therefore a need to supplement while implementing small and incremental healthy changes may be required.”
Dr. Scott Schreiber, a rehabilitation specialist, explains to his patients that it may not be possible to receive all our vitamins from food because of the soil they’re grown in. “With the current state of our soil, I recommend a combination of organic whole foods and a daily multivitamin supplement.” Registered dietitian Danielle Omar agrees. “Farmland soil is depleted of important vitamins and trace minerals, and our food sometimes travels thousands of miles to reach us,” she says. “So once that kale reaches your dinner table, it may be well over a week old and vital nutrients are quickly dissipating.”
The following slides provide details on certain crucial vitamins you need to consume every day. After you get through the list of vitamins, keep reading! We’ll answer some burning questions about which foods to eat to get certain vitamins, as well as why sometimes food isn’t enough.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin D Three
Comparison Of Over 100 Popular Multivitamin Brands
Most multivitamins you buy at your local store are not carefully formulated to give you the optimal nutrition you need. Their manufacturers use low-quality ingredients that are not potent or bioavailable enough to be beneficial. They may meet the governments recommended daily intake guidelines, but they dont use the type of nutrients that are most easily absorbed by your body.
For these reasons, the vast majority of multivitamins available today are simply not good enough to spend your hard-earned money on. You want the benefits of the best vitamin and mineral supplement you can find, but youre not sure how to find the right multivitamin for your needs. We always recommend doing your own research instead of trying to wade through the marketing noise of most vitamin companies, and this Multivitamin Guide is a good start.
Weve done indepth analysis of over 100 vitamin brands, including popular supplements such as Centrum, One-A-Day, GNC, Shaklee, Nutrilite/Amway, Equate, Nature Made, NOW Foods, Melaleuca, and Puritans Pride. Weve also included many brands that are not so recognizable, including Xtend-Life, Douglas Labs and USANA.
Each of the reviewed vitamins was evaluated against four criteria, including composition, bioavailability, safety, and potency. Each supplement received a score ranging from 0 to 10 to help you easily compare the effectiveness of the different brands and determine the best multivitamin to take.
Vitamin D: Too Much Can Harm Your Kidneys
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the body, and getting enough is central to health and well-being, offering the promise of protecting bones and preventing bone diseases like osteoporosis. Supplemental vitamin D is popular because its difficult to get enough from food. Also, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes, our bodies make vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to sunlight, but increased time spent indoors and widespread use of sunblock has minimized the amount of vitamin D many of us get from sun exposure.
But enthusiasm for vitamin D supplements is outpacing the evidence. As it turns out, when healthy women take low doses of vitamin D it does not necessarily prevent them from breaking bones, according to a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report published in May 2013 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
And taking high doses is not a good option. In healthy people, vitamin D blood levels higher than 100 nanograms per milliliter can trigger extra calcium absorption and lead to muscle pain, mood disorders, abdominal pain, and kidney stones, notes the Cleveland Clinic. It may also raise the risk of heart attack and stroke.
More is not necessarily better when it comes to micronutrient supplements, says Manson.
Sponsored Advertising Content
You May Like: What Does Vitamin E Lotion Do For Your Skin
How Much Is Too Much
Because high doses of some supplements can have risks, how do you know when it’s OK to take more than the RDA or DV?
One way is to look for the UL of a nutrient. With many vitamins and minerals, you can safely take a dose much higher than the RDA or DV without coming close to the UL.
For instance, the average person can take more than 50 times the RDA of vitamin B6 without reaching the upper limit. But some people develop symptoms of nerve pain with these higher levels of B6. So you should always be cautious. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Some supplements are riskier than others. With some vitamins and minerals, the upper limit is pretty close to the RDA. So it’s easy to get too much. For example, a man who takes just over three times the RDA of vitamin A would get more than the upper limit. High doses of vitamin A — and other fat-soluble vitamins like E and K — can build up in the body and become toxic. Other risky supplements include the minerals iron and selenium.
Supplementsare designed to be additions to your diet. Popping pills is not the answer to good health. Experts say you should eat a well-balanced diet and take supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps. Some people take a multivitamin with minerals for nutritional insurance.
What Supplements Should I Take Daily For Working Out
According to an article on the FDA website, supplements include ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and enzymes. These supplements come in forms such as tablets, capsules, soft gels, powders, liquids and gel caps.
Just as its name denotes, the primary purpose of supplements is to supplement your overall diet. It is helpful in making up for the lack of enough nutrients needed by the body to function properly.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, in 2017-2018, among adults aged 20 and above, 57.6% of them have used dietary supplements in the past 30 days. This increase in the number of users, not only in the Us, stems from the need to meet up with the recommended nutrient targets.
Although there are over a thousand and one supplements available in both the online and offline marketplace, not all are healthy. Some contain active ingredients that make it unsafe for consumption. You can get your supplements made from high quality ingredients and safe for consumption from supplements Ireland.
Why are supplements good for those that workout?
Regular intense exercise causes tiredness, muscle stress and sometimes excessive pain. Working out is no childs play and can be a little harsh on the body, that is why it is important to take supplements regularly as a fitness enthusiast.
What supplements should I take daily for working out?
Don’t Miss: Does Vitamin B12 Thin Your Blood
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.
Essential Vitamins Your Body Needs: Pyridoxine
Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin for good health. It promotes protein metabolism, metabolism of carbohydrates and the release of energy. It also plays a role in proper nerve function and the synthesis of red blood cells.
Where to get Vitamin B6: Meat, fish, poultry, grains, cereals, bananas, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, soybeans.
Make sure you avoid these surprisingly unhealthy foods at all costs.
Also Check: What Is The Best Hair Vitamins For Hair Loss
What Vitamins To Take Daily
If youve decided you would like to supplement your diet with a daily vitamin, there are plenty of great options to consider. If you arent lacking in any specific nutrient and would like to take a holistic approach to upping your vitamin and mineral intake, consider a multivitamin.
In order to determine what dietary supplement you need, take a look at the vitamins and nutrients your diet is missing. If you dont always eat a well-rounded diet rich in vitamins and nutrients your body needs, a dietary supplement might be a good option for you. Other common supplement options include:v
Folate and folic acid, especially if youre pregnant Vitamin D, if you dont eat enough fish or get little to no sun exposure Vitamin B6, which helps regulate sleep, appetite, and mood Vitamin B12, which is harder for our bodies to absorb as we get older Vitamin A, which can help support our vision
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.
Also Check: What Has More Vitamin C Than An Orange
Why Is Food Not Enough
Experts say that a balanced diet is the best way to get vitamins, but there’s just one problem with that. We don’t eat that way! A report from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concluded that Americans do not consume enough of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium. We’re also not getting enough iron. This is especially true for premenopausal women. The report also found that we’re taking in too much sodium and saturated fat.
Registered dietitian Emily Braaten recommends trying to obtain as many vitamins from our diets as possible. “While a multivitamin may be able to fill the gap, it’s not absolutely necessary to rely on supplements to meet our needs,” she told me. “Simply shifting our eating pattern to include the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables can cover most of the aforementioned .”
What Other Key Nutrients Do Men Need
Should men take fish oil? Yes! There are many health benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA , such as supporting heart, brain and eye health. Experts recommend consuming at least two servings of fatty fish per week, which equals 200-500 mg EPA and DHA/day. If youve got heart health concerns, experts recommend 1000 mg EPA and DHA/day.10,11 If you dont regularly eat seafood, consider adding an Omega-3 supplement to your daily routine.
Learn More: How Much Omega-3 Per Day Should You Take?
The Bottom Line
Since mens nutritional needs change through the years, what vitamins should men take? While it depends on your age, lifestyle, and individual needs, key nutrients to focus on in your 30s and 40s include Vitamin A, B vitamins like Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E, as well as calcium and magnesium. Men in their 50s and beyond share similar nutritional needs, but need more of certain nutrients,such as vitamin B12 and calcium. And to maintain a healthy heart, everyone should be getting enough of the omega-3s EPA and DHA, primarily through fatty fish or fish oil supplements.
Learn More About Health & Wellness:
Read Also: What Does Vitamin B6 Do For You