People put a lot of faith and money into vitamin supplements, and their use has increased substantially in the last 20 years. However, there are some doubts as to how many, if any; health benefits people get from taking vitamins. The following is a look at vitamin supplements and health.
While there is no clear consensus on what vitamins one should take, it is agreed that there is no substitute for eating healthy foods for ones main source of nutrition. Those who think they can take vitamins in lieu of a healthy diet are putting their health at risk.
Since most people get plenty to eat and our food is fortified with nutrients, many of the kinds of nutritional diseases of the past have disappeared. However, it is still difficult to eat a balanced diet covering all the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals. This raises the question as to whether taking vitamin supplements can make up for holes in people’s diets. The following are common deficiencies that can likely be helped with supplements.
A lot of people do not get enough calcium-rich foods. It is recommended that most adults get about 1200 mg per day to reduce the risk of getting diseases like osteoporosis (weakened bones).
Vitamin D can come from the foods people eat but primarily comes from exposure to the sun. Since fatty fish are the only major food source for vitamin D, it is widely thought that most people do not get enough. Supplements can help people reach 400 IU of vitamin D that is recommended each day for adults.
Evidence shows that Omega-3 fatty acids aid in preventing cardiovascular disease. Fatty fish is the best source for this too but taking it in supplement form also appears to help.
Antioxidants also provide various health benefits to include the reduction of the risk of cancer and heart diseases. The best source of them is from certain fruits and vegetables, but evidence shows that supplements also help.
For most other supplements, the jury is still out. While many supplements people take are simply discharged from our bodies without doing anything, many consider them a relatively cheap insurance policy against some diseases.
With differences in age, sex, diets and lifestyles, there will never be a one-size-fits-all answer to the questio