There are very few people who can get all of the nutrients they need through food alone. Well, at least the way most people eat. Think about your current eating habits. Even if you do try to eat healthy most of the time, do you really think you’re getting 100% of every vitamin and mineral your body needs to stay healthy? Probably not. If you smoke, have fast food more than three times a week, are on any type of diet, or have a current health problem, chances are you need even more than the government RDA (recommended daily allowance.)
Sometimes we do try to eat healthy and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet, but not all garden foods are created equal. For example, carrots have ten times more vitamin A per serving than celery does. I don’t know about you, but I’m no rabbit and want to eat other things besides bushels of fruits and vegetables! If you don’t get enough of one or more vitamins you could be experiencing minor or major deficiencies and not realize it. This is where multivitamins come in, though you shouldn’t take them blindly.
Use With Caution
Studies have shown that vitamin supplements in excess can cause a whole host of problems; everything from rashes and headaches to nausea and fatigue. Anything in life should be done so in moderation, even taking vitamins. Although I’m not a medical doctor, I’ve worked in the medical field for a general practitioner, a cardiologist, write many health articles, and have been a virtual assistant for doctors. Vitamins are typically safe when taking according to the label directions and if you follow the advice on sites like WebMD.com or DrWeilVitaminAdvisor.com .
You also want to buy products you can trust. I usually order from Amazon or iHerb and read the reviews first. What have other people experienced with product you’re thinking about buying? Did they notice side effects, more energy, or nothing at all?
Vitamins and Prescription Drugs
Some vitamins may interfere with certain prescription medications so be sure to talk to your doctor before taking vitamins if you’re on any prescribed drugs. Most of the time it’s completely safe, though you’ll want to talk to your physician first to be certain.
Multivitamins vs. Single Vitamins
You may wonder what’s best, taking a multivitamin or many single vitamins? This is completely up to you. For some people though, a multivitamin may not have enough of certain vitamins or minerals or could have too much. I prefer taking a multivitamin that has 100% of the RDA of the most common vitamins and minerals, then supplementing with others if I need it.
For example, I might take more of the vitamins A, C, E and D if a cold or flu bug is going around, or I might take an extra B complex if I feel low energy. If you take a multivitamin then at least you know you’re getting the bare minimum of your daily requirements. Also, nearly all multivitamins don’t contain enough calcium so you’d want to supplement with extra calcium either through dairy foods, certain vegetables like broccoli, or calcium tablets.
RDA For Vitamins
The RDA was created during World War II and has changed many times since then and will probably change several more times as the medical field discovers more about the human body and our nutritional needs. The following list is the recommended daily allowance for adults. If you have any health problems or concerns you may need more of a certain vitamin or mineral. Also, some health professionals feel that the RDA is far too low, though these are safe levels for nearly every adult.
* Vitamin A — 5000 IU
* Vitamin C — 60 mg
* Vitamin D — 10 mcg (400 IU)
* Vitamin E — 10 mg (15 IU)
* Vitamin K — 80 mcg
* Thiamin — 1.5 mg
* Riboflavin — 1.8 mg
* Niacin — 20 mg
* Vitamin B-6 — 2 mg
* Folate — 400 mcg
* Vitamin B-12 — 2 mcg
* Biotin — 30 to 100 mcg
* Panthothenic acid — 4 to 7 mg
* Calcium — 1200 mg
* Phosphorous — 1200 mg
* Iron — 15 mg
* Iodine — 150 mcg
* Magnesium — 400 mg
* Zinc 15 mg
* Selenium — 70 mcg
* Copper — 1.5 to 3 mg
* Manganese — 2 to 5 mg
* Chromium — 50 to 200 mcg
* Molybdenum — 75 to 250 mcg
Why You Need Vitamins
As I mentioned earlier, not many people can get all the nutrients their body needs through food alone. Also, most people are under a huge amount of stress on a regular basis which can deplete your body of crucial vitamins.
Vitamins should never be substituted for a good diet, but can be a very beneficial supplement to it. You still need to eat as healthy as possibly since your body needs the right type of fuel to accomplish all the tasks you have to accomplish every day.