Who Should Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?

“Some supplements can help assure that you get enough of the vital substances the body needs to function; others may help reduce the risk of disease. But supplements should not replace complete meals which are necessary for a healthful diet – so, be sure you eat a variety of foods as well.“

“Unlike drugs, supplements are not permitted to be marketed for the purpose of treating, diagnosing, preventing, or curing diseases. That means supplements should not make disease claims, such as “lowers high cholesterol” or “treats heart disease.” Claims like these cannot be legitimately made for dietary supplements.“

 

Athletes

People with a physically active lifestyle need more nutrients than the average inactive person to support fitness-related goals. Creatine and amino acid supplements can support muscles and help growth and recovery during short periods of intense exercise. Fatiguing exercise is also associated with oxidative stress and tissue damage, so athletes should take higher antioxidant dietary supplements such as vitamins E and C.

 

Deficiency

Several large-scale observational studies show that many people do not achieve nutritional adequacy only through diet. This may be partly due to reduced soil quality, which means that fresh fruits and vegetables are not as nutritious as they were 70 years ago. A daily supplement with recommended vitamin and mineral supplementation can help protect against such deficiencies.

 

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women need more iron, calcium and other minerals as well as folate, which is necessary for normal brain development in the fetus.

 

Menopausal Women

Postmenopausal women need more calcium and other bone supportive nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin D, boron and vitamin K to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Some women also find that phytoestrogen supplements, such as black cohosh, help alleviate common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and irritability.

 

Children aged 6 months to 5 years

It is recommended that all children between six months and five years of age be given a supplement containing vitamins A, C and D. These vitamins are especially important in the early years, especially if children are whiny eaters.

 

Over the age of 65

Our nutritional needs change with age. This is partly because the stomach secretes less hydrochloric acid, which disrupts the breakdown of foods and the absorption of nutrients. As a result, many mature adults need to consume higher amounts of nutrients to absorb the same amount. While all adults over 65 years of age are advised to take daily vitamin D 10mcg supplements to maintain bone strength, calcium, iron, vitamin C and Coenzyme Q10 are also important.

 

Smokers

Regular smokers should take a high dose of vitamin C to maintain a stable body reserve. This antioxidant vitamin is very important for the neutralization of free radical molecules produced by chemicals in cigarettes. Vitamin B12 is also important because smokers often have lower serum levels of vitamin B12.

 

Those with little exposure to natural sunlight

Vitamin D is a basis for good health, but it is difficult to get enough from food alone. Also, in winter, the sun’s rays are not strong enough for the skin to synthesize vitamin D. Daily, taking vitamin D supplements can help to ensure that vitamin D levels do not fall too low.

 

References

 

  1. Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet. FDA. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/DietarySupplements/UCM240978.pdf
  2. https://www.simplysupplements.co.uk/healthylife/supplements/benefits-of-multivitamins
  3. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/vitamin_and_mineral_supplements/article_em.htm
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