The Facts and Myths About Vitamins
Are you someone who takes vitamins or multivitamins? There are a lot of myths about vitamins. For example, supplements always work well together. Reality: Some supplements do help each other out. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, for example. Others actually work against each other. Calcium blocks the absorption of iron. So it might be a good idea to take your calcium supplements at a different time from your multivitamin.
Some nutrition experts say to eat healthy and clean just get your nutrients in your food. Others say that we should take vitamins in case we fall short and there are those in the camp that says taking too much of the wrong kind could actually be detrimental. The jury is out on many supplements, but most experts believe products are only helpful if you’re deficient in a given nutrient. Women who lose a lot of iron due to heavy menstrual bleeding, for example, might need an additional iron supplement while those who are going through menopause may need extra calcium and vitamin D.
How do we know what is right for us? We all have different needs and health concerns, so it may be a good idea to meet with a dietician, nutritionist, or healthcare provider to customized a plan that works for you.
Knowing the difference between science and fiction when it comes to supplements can be challenging. There’s little oversight, a lot of misinformation. And that’s a tough pill to swallow when you’re trying to stay on top of your family’s health. So before you gulp down any more capsules, we separate myths from fact.
Vitamin C could reduce our risk of cancer, heart disease, and the common cold, but not eliminate it. However, experts say most of us get plenty of “C” from food. Plus, our bodies can’t absorb the extra doses we get from supplements, which means most of the vitamins we take just go right through us. So, you might consider skipping the supplements and eat high-C produce, like citrus, broccoli, and strawberries instead.
Vitamin D is linked to a lower risk of heart attack, cancer, obesity, and depression. Shockingly, if you eat foods like fish, eggs, milk, and mushrooms (which are high in vitamin D), take a high-dose supplement, and spend time in the sun, you may slide into vitamin D toxicity, which can cause constipation, vomiting, and weakness.
Keeps bones strong, and keeps our body’s systems running smoothly? According to vitamin specialists, you can get plenty of calcium by eating milk, yogurt, and broccoli. They say calcium supplements aren’t necessary unless you have osteoporosis. And then, you should only take 500 milligrams max, since too much calcium leads to constipation, kidney stones, and heart attack.
Glucosamine and chondroitin, which can soothe achy, arthritic knees. Joint experts found that 80-percent of people taking G&C end up with significantly less arthritis pain. However, it may not work for everyone. After three months there is no relief it will never work so save your money!
RCertain supplements, including vitamin K (which helps blood clot), zinc (which some people believe boosts immunity), and omega-3s (which thin the blood), may interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Whether you’re taking a daily aspirin to protect against heart disease or you’re on an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, the supplements you’re taking could interfere or enhance the effects of your medications.
Many vitamins are water-soluble—meaning they dissolve in water and will be absorbed by the body at whether you have food in your stomach or not. However 4 fat-soluble vitamins—A, D, E and K— can only be absorbed with fat. So if you are taking a multivitamin that contains a fat-soluble vitamin, it’s best to take it with a little food that contains some fat. Also, many find that taking a supplement on an empty stomach makes them nauseous.
Unlike prescription or over-the-counter medications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not determine whether dietary supplements are safe and effective before they hit the marketplace. Instead, consumers are at the mercy of the manufacturer. However, once a dietary supplement is on the market, both the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) monitor label information to ensure product claims aren’t misleading.
Dietary supplements may be beneficial for certain populations to help manage various conditions. For example -
Someone allergic to dairy may benefit from a Vitamin D supplement. Pregnant women should take folic acid. A vegan may benefit from taking B12.