What are vitamins?
Every organism needs some kind of vitamin. These vitamins are found in various food organic items. Although the body can produce some vitamins in small quantities, most vitamins need to come in large quantities, and that can only come from organic food. For instance, we humans need vitamin C from food, but dogs get all the vitamin C they need from their bodies. For vitamin D, humans need to expose themselves to the sun because that is the only way to get vitamin D into their bodies.
Without vitamins, no organism can survive. Humans need many types of vitamins in different quantities. An imbalance of vitamins in your body may lead to a serious health issue. So, far humans have recognized thirteen vitamins. In this article, we will discuss How to Choose Vitamins and Supplements.
Types of Vitamins
There are two kinds of vitamins – fat and water-soluble.
A / D / E / K vitamins dissolve in fat. In the liver and fatty tissues, the human body stores these vitamins. There it can remain for many days or months.
This type of vitamin will leave our body via urine. C and B vitamins are soluble in water. Our bodies cannot store them.
Apart from vitamins, our body also requires some key minerals – zinc, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, and calcium.
It is very important to keep the vitamins and minerals in our body at a balanced level. But how do we know if the level is balanced? If the balance is broken, our body will show some signs. If you have the following signs, please, visit your doctor and discuss the matter:
- Pain in your bone or joint.
- Losing hair at an alarming rate.
- Extreme tiredness.
- Heartbeat is not regular.
- Changes in vision.
- Slow-healing wounds.
If you find that your body is lacking some key minerals or vitamins, you will need to take certain foods to recover from the shortage, or you may have to take prescribed vitamins and mineral supplements.
Vitamin and mineral supplements
What are they?
These are alternatives to the dietary solution to your vitamin and mineral imbalance or deficiency. These supplements are often known as multivitamins. You will find them in the forms of liquids, powders, tablets chewable, or pills.
You will find both fat- and water-soluble vitamins in these supplements. Among these vitamins there are B12, folic acid, biotin, B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin C, A / D / E / K vitamins; and among minerals, there are zinc, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, and calcium. Some multivitamins are for substances like lycopene, lutein, etc.
How to Choose?
Look at the labels
When you go shopping for supplements, you will need to read the labels. Usually, each supplement has its purpose, like – for women, men, or specific age groups. Supplements or multivitamins are usually generic or for everyone but some people prefer multivitamins specially designed for their particular conditions.
Types of labels
For women: This formula is for women only and contains more iron. This is because women have periods and men do not. Some formulas include more calcium since they can get osteoporosis.
For men: In men’s formulas, there will be less iron because they need less iron than women.
For seniors: These formulas are for adults. These have less vitamin K, and iron, but are rich in vitamin D and B12.
For Pregnant women: These are for pregnant or breastfeeding women. These formulas have more iron and folic acid. Folic acid help prevents birth defects to some extent. They also have more calcium.
Picking the supplements
Single or Multivitamin
Pick a supplement that contains various minerals and vitamins. It is better than one supplement for one health issue only. Take supplements for only one vitamin or mineral only when your doctors say so. The supplement you choose, in addition to your food, should provide you with the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for each mineral and vitamin. You may suffer from health issues if your supplement provides you with minerals and vitamins more than RDA. Specially for A, D, E, and K and mineral, this is even more true. These elements can stay in your body and can put you in danger very easily.
You have to check the date of expiration on the supplements. Do not buy something that will expire during or before your regime.
NPN or DIN-HM
If you are buying a supplement that is NPN (natural product number) or DIN-HM (Homeopathic Medicine Number), the supplements qualify for the Safety Standard in Canada. They also qualify for health and quality claims.
Never forget to check the label to read the list of ingredients. Supplements often have food essence like eggs, wheat, gelatin, or corn. If you are allergic to the ingredients, then look for other options where the ingredients do not cause your health issues.
Doses and Health
Just because these are mineral or vitamin supplements, do not take them for innocent supplements. Do not think that if you take them plenty, your health will still be the same. Balance of minerals and vitamins cannot break in your body. It will cause severe damage to your health. For example:
- Fat-soluble vitamins can cause sediment in your body and become toxic to your health.
- Water-soluble vitamins such as B6 can be deadly for health.
- More than 1gm of C is the cause of diarrhea.
- If you take more folate, it can hide that you need B12.
- C intake in a large amount will end up causing kidney stones, fatigue, headache, abdominal cramps, nausea, etc.
- B12 can cause damage to your nerves.
Always ask your doctor
If you feel discomfort with the state of your body, you must always ask your doctor to find out the cause. Never try to experiment with your body. The subtle changes in your body may not catch your attention until it becomes a very big problem in the end. Therefore, always ask your doctor for professional help.