What You Should Know About Taking Vitamins

We know that we get most of the vitamins we need from food. Whether they’re naturally occurring in the food we eat, which most of the vitamins are, or they are added to it later, we should be able to get enough vitamins to keep us healthy. But the number of vitamins people take as a supplement might suggest otherwise.

Multivitamins might be the supplement of choice for Americans. The percentage of people in the U.S. who take multivitamins varies depending on their age, but some estimates state that more than one in three Americans uses them. Such a widespread usage supports a multi-billion-dollar dietary supplement industry.

Do We Really Need so Many Vitamin Supplements?

There are many different times when vitamin supplement usage is called for. People who are on restrictive diets might need to take vitamins to compensate for what they’re not getting through food. Some vitamins, such as vitamin B12, are not available from plant food. People who are on a vegetarian or vegan diet can get in trouble because they need vitamin B12, so taking supplements seems like the best course of action for them.

Other situations might also require you to take supplements. Vitamin deficiencies can cause serious health problems. If your doctor finds that you have a deficiency-related problem, they might tell you to take supplements as a treatment. Medical issues might also be a cause of a vitamin deficiency, not just its symptom. Some medications might interfere with vitamin metabolism, making it harder for your body to use the vitamins you ingest with food.

These are all valid reasons to take vitamin supplements, as prescribed by a medical professional or a nutritionist. Using vitamins outside the prescribed guidelines, and for no apparent reason, can be very problematic.

When Vitamin Use Goes Badly

If you think that nothing wrong can come out of adding some vitamin supplements to your diet, think again. Look at a list of vitamins, the effects of deficiency, and the effects of taking too much. You’ll soon notice that vitamins are toxic if you take too much of them. Using too much vitamin A might induce hair-loss and increase intracranial pressure. Too much vitamin E will reduce the absorption rates of vitamin K. Taking too much vitamin B-6 over a long period of time will damage your nervous system. And the list goes on.

There is so much information online on why you need to take vitamin supplements. The responsible websites, such as Healthtrends.com, make sure that you are aware of the adverse effects these supplements can cause. Besides being toxic in high doses, vitamin supplements can also interfere with the efficiency of some medications and damage your health that way. Improper use of vitamins can have disastrous effects.

The Responsible Way to Take Vitamins

The best way to get the vitamins you need is the good old natural way — through food. Not only will a varied diet reduce the chances of getting too much of vitamins, but it will also ensure that you make the most out of the vitamins you ingest. Food is rich in other nutrients that will improve the absorption rates of vitamins.

Being on a restrictive diet and getting the vitamins you need can be challenging. Food with added vitamins, also called fortified food, is a possible choice. If you can’t get the food with added vitamins you need, you should check out some supplements. The best way to decide the dosage and frequency of supplement intake would be to consult a doctor or a nutritionist. They will also inform you about possible drug interactions and the perils of vitamin overuse.

Vitamins are the perfect example of how too much of a good thing can lead to bad results. With plenty of misconceptions about them circling around, vitamins can easily go from being a boost to your health to a detriment. It’s important that you take supplements only if you are sure that you need to. Even then, you should do it after speaking with a medical professional.

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    Greg Stiles

    Covering the Southern Oregon business and economy since 2001. Read Full
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