Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals

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The risks of supplements

They include:. Canada's Food Guide recommends vegetables, fruits, grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives as part of a nutritious food plan. Many supplements are advertised as being specially designed for men or for women or for certain age groups.

A standard multivitamin is okay for most people who take a supplement. But some people prefer to take a supplement that is made for their gender or age group. When you think about buying a dietary supplement , be sure to check the claims that the manufacturers make. Supplements that don't have one of these numbers on the label have not been approved by Health Canada.

Essential nutrients for your body

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What this guide covers

Top of the page. Topic Overview What is a vitamin and mineral supplement? A standard multivitamin usually contains: Water-soluble vitamins. These vitamins pass in and out of the body easily.

Vitamin & Mineral Supplements – What are they and who needs them?

Most do not build up in the body's cells. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and the B vitamins: thiamine, riboflavin , niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, biotin, folic acid , and B Fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are stored in the body's cells and do not pass out of the body as easily as water-soluble vitamins do. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. These include calcium , copper, iron, magnesium , phosphorus , potassium , selenium, and zinc.

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  • But a number of other commonly used supplements, especially iron, were linked to a higher risk of death. You need to have iron in your diet and body to be healthy. And for people with certain medical conditions, such as anemia, iron supplements are often vital. But this study does suggest that for healthy people, taking extra iron in supplement form may cause harm. Other vitamin and mineral supplements may also do more harm than good. According to the Mayo Clinic , research suggests that taking vitamin E supplements may raise your risk of heart failure and premature death.

    The Mayo Clinic also warns that taking more than milligrams of vitamin B-6 per day may cause nerve pain and seizures. Recent research reported by the National Institutes of Health also suggests that too much vitamin A may be bad for your bones. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the potential risks and benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements. Some people believe that popping a multivitamin pill can make up for poor eating habits. According to the Mayo Clinic , nutrient-rich whole foods — such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — provide many benefits over dietary supplements:. Most people can get the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a well-balanced diet that contains a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.

    In certain circumstances, your doctor may recommend taking a vitamin or mineral supplement. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans make the following recommendations:. If you suspect that one of these recommendations applies to you, ask your doctor if you should add supplements or fortified foods to your routine.

    Do you need to take Vitamins and Minerals Supplements - KnowYourOTCS

    Your doctor may also recommend taking certain supplements or eating certain foods if you show signs of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. For some people, taking a dietary supplement may be beneficial. In fact, some research suggests that certain supplements can be harmful. Always talk to your doctor before adding a vitamin or mineral supplement to your routine. But they can be helpful, too. When immune system cells muster to fight intruders, the oxygen they use spins off an army of free radicals that destroys viruses, bacteria, and damaged body cells in an oxidative burst.

    Vitamin C can then disarm the free radicals. Antioxidants are able to neutralize marauders such as free radicals by giving up some of their own electrons. When a vitamin C or E molecule makes this sacrifice, it may allow a crucial protein, gene, or cell membrane to escape damage.

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    This helps break a chain reaction that can affect many other cells. Each of the nutrients that has antioxidant properties also has numerous other aspects and should be considered individually. The context is also important—in some settings, for example, vitamin C is an antioxidant, and in others it can be a pro-oxidant. Articles and advertisements have touted antioxidants as a way to help slow aging, fend off heart disease, improve flagging vision, and curb cancer.

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    And laboratory studies and many large-scale observational trials the type that query people about their eating habits and supplement use and then track their disease patterns have noted benefits from diets rich in certain antioxidants and, in some cases, from antioxidant supplements. But results from randomized controlled trials in which people are assigned to take specific nutrients or a placebo have failed to back up many of these claims. One study that pooled results from 68 randomized trials with over , participants found that people who were given vitamin E, beta carotene, and vitamin A had a higher risk of death than those who took a placebo.

    There appeared to be no effect from vitamin C pills and a small reduction in mortality from selenium, but further research on these nutrients is needed. These findings suggest little overall benefit of the antioxidants in pill form. On the other hand, many studies show that people who consume higher levels of these antioxidants in food have a lower risk of many diseases. The bottom line?

    Dietary Supplements Video – Brigham and Women’s Hospital

    Eating a healthy diet is the best way to get your antioxidants. Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients because they perform hundreds of roles in the body. There is a fine line between getting enough of these nutrients which is healthy and getting too much which can end up harming you. Eating a healthy diet remains the best way to get sufficient amounts of the vitamins and minerals you need. Essential nutrients for your body Every day, your body produces skin, muscle, and bone.

    Micronutrients with a big role in the body Vitamins and minerals are often called micronutrients because your body needs only tiny amounts of them. Here are a few examples of diseases that can result from vitamin deficiencies: Scurvy. Old-time sailors learned that living for months without fresh fruits or vegetables—the main sources of vitamin C—causes the bleeding gums and listlessness of scurvy.

    In some developing countries, people still become blind from vitamin A deficiency. A deficiency in vitamin D can cause rickets, a condition marked by soft, weak bones that can lead to skeletal deformities such as bowed legs. Partly to combat rickets, the U. Some examples of these benefits: Strong bones. A combination of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, and phosphorus protects your bones against fractures.

    Prevents birth defects. Taking folic acid supplements early in pregnancy helps prevent brain and spinal birth defects in offspring. Healthy teeth. The mineral fluoride not only helps bone formation but also keeps dental cavities from starting or worsening.

    The difference between vitamins and minerals Although they are all considered micronutrients, vitamins and minerals differ in basic ways.

    Interacting—in good ways and bad Many micronutrients interact. A closer look at water-soluble vitamins Water-soluble vitamins are packed into the watery portions of the foods you eat. Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Food containing fat-soluble vitamins is ingested.

    The food is digested by stomach acid and then travels to the small intestine, where it is digested further. Bile is needed for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

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    Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals
    Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals
    Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals
    Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals

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