When you eat food, you immediately feel energized. When you stand in the sun, your skin instantly heats up. But when you take a vitamin you feel…nothing. How do you know a vitamin is working? Can you overdose on these alleged miracle workers? Here are 10 essential things you need to know about vitamins.
Multivitamins provide you with 100 percent of your daily recommended intake for several crucial vitamins. So if a certain vitamin is included in your multivitamin, you do not need to take an additional, isolated supplements for that vitamin.
Food-based vitamins combine vitamins with powdered whole foods. Since the vitamins are consumed with whole foods, they are more readily absorbed and are less likely to cause an upset stomach.
Almost everyone is calcium deficient. It’s very difficult to get all the calcium you need in your food, especially with most people cutting down on dairy in their diets today. Adults should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, and increase that to 1,200 milligrams after the age of 50.
Calcium, for example, can interact with some medications and cancel out the effects of the medication. Talk to your doctor about what vitamins and supplements you’re taking before starting a new medication.
It’s almost impossible to get all the vitamins you need from your diet. Even if you do eat a very healthy diet full of nutrients, you can and should still take a multivitamin. Highly nutritious foods combined with supplements, taken as directed, will not trigger an overdose of vitamins.
While a healthy diet plus supplements won’t trigger an overdose, a high dose of certain vitamins through supplements alone can cause harm. For example, vitamin B3 or niacin in high doses can cause liver damage.
When you feel a cold coming on, you might take large doses of vitamin C. However, countless studies on vitamin C and its ability to fight colds produced contradictory results. The medical community does not have solid, reliable evidence to prove that vitamin C helps fight colds.
Even though chewable kids’ vitamins are tasty, they do not contain high enough doses of the required vitamins for adults. Doubling up on kid’s vitamins won’t guarantee you get your recommended daily allowance either, so just stick to the adult vitamins.
If you read the labels of many multivitamins, you might find different dosages for different ages. Some bottles specify that they are only intended for certain age groups. That’s because after specific ages, our bodies slow down and we need higher doses. Be sure to take the supplement recommended for your age group.
Tablets and capsules require fillers and binding agents, and before your body can absorb vitamins, it has to break down those added components. Powdered vitamins, however, do not require binding agents or fillers and get into your system easier.