Vitamins, Minerals, Multivitamins, Nutritional Supplements

Are the supplements helpful?

The answer is yes. There are a variety of reasons. First, because nearly nobody eats enough of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of vitamins and minerals, or even the number of foods from the food groups. Second, our soil has been depleted through the years and food simply isn't as nutritious as it used to be. Third, exercise and stress deplete the body of certain nutrients.

RELATED ARTICLE: Do we need vitamin supplements?

Did you know?

According to Harvard Medical School's Physician's Health Study, people who take a daily multivitamin have a 25% lower risk of developing a cataract.

When you may need the vitamin/mineral supplements?

You may need them if you are falling short of your nutrient intake. This usually happens:

  • If your hectic lifestyle frequently keeps you from eating the recommended number of servings of food, fruits or vegetables.
  • If you are on a very low-calorie weight loss diet.
  • If you are elderly and not eating as much as you should.
  • If you are a strict vegetarian.
  • If you can't drink milk or eat cheese and yogurt.
  • If you are a woman of child-bearing age who doesn't get enough folate from fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains.

Preparation of Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

The supplements are prepared in several ways:

Various forms in which vitamins and minerals can be presented:

  1. Tablets have a long shell life. They contain additives known as fillers, packers and stabilizers that can cause allergic reactions.
  2. Capsules are used for fat-soluble vitamins and powdered formulations. They are usually made of animal gelatine. When buying oil or oil capsules, it is important to check that the oil has been 'cold pressed' during preparation to avoid adverse chemical changes.
  3. Powdered Preparations are the most rapidly absorbed formulations, but are often the least palatable. They are usually free of additives.
  4. Liquids can contain coloring agents and sweeteners (as can children's chewable formulations).

What about multivitamins?

Multivitamin supplements contain several vitamins or minerals instead of only one vitamin or mineral. Some vitamins or minerals are more beneficial when they are taken in the company of some other vitamins or minerals. For example:

Some important things to keep in mind before taking supplements

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