Your comprehensive guide to nutritional supplements and their types

Your comprehensive guide to nutritional supplements and their types

In order to know more about nutritional supplements, you must be aware of the types of nutritional supplements, their characteristics, why they are used, and what are their benefits or harms, and then you will have an answer to all the questions that come to you about vitamins and nutritional supplements.

There are a lot of good reasons to take a multivitamin. Even some of the best eating plans can fall short of meeting all of the 40 or more nutrients you need each day. Most people fail to meet dietary recommendations for many reasons, including strict dieting, loss of appetite, changing nutritional needs, or unhealthy food choices. Taking a multivitamin once a day is an easy way to fill in small nutritional gaps.

With so many different brands and varieties to choose from, one can be confused about choosing the best multivitamin to take, and in this article you will find simple tips for making the right decision to choose the right multivitamin for you.


Why take vitamins?

In short, it is wise to ensure that your diet is complete and contains all the nutrients needed for health and wellness.

Healthy eating remains the best source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Vitamins are not a substitute for healthy food or a healthy lifestyle, but they can provide nutritional support for a diet close to ideal. “If you’re on a diet that eliminates certain food groups entirely or you don’t eat enough food groups, you can benefit from a once-a-day multivitamin,” says Karen Ansel, RD, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identified calcium , vitamin D , dietary fiber, and potassium as nutrients of concern for inadequate intake by adults and children. All of these nutrients, with the exception of fiber, come packaged in vitamins. Fiber can be obtained separately, but it is still best to try to get all the fiber you need from the foods you eat.

Although there is some question about the usefulness of a daily multivitamin and its ability to ward off disease, many people add them to their diet to maintain or promote health.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, more than half of adults in the United States take dietary supplements. Multivitamins are the most commonly used, with 40% of men and women reporting taking a multivitamin daily.

The permissible amount of vitamins

The Harvard School of Public Health suggests taking a once-daily multivitamin with additional vitamin D for most people as a nutritional support. The Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University suggests taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement at 100% of the daily value for most essential vitamins and minerals to maintain health.

Experts may not agree on the effects of a daily multivitamin. However, if nutritional gaps are filled, it is reasonable to assume that multivitamins not only support overall health but may help ward off chronic conditions or other health risks. For example, a pregnant woman can take a supplement containing folic acid to help avoid certain birth defects, or a supplement of calcium and vitamin D to reduce the risk of osteoporosis .

The risk of a nutritional deficiency is greater than the risk of a vitamin overdose. “Most American diets are nutrient-poor, and taking a once-a-day multivitamin won’t do harm and has the potential to improve a nutrient-poor diet,” says Ansel.

What do you look for in a multivitamin?

Read the product name and contents carefully. Product labels specify which nutrients are included and the values listed for each ingredient.

Essential vitamins and minerals can be obtained. Most multivitamin preparations usually include the following vitamins and minerals: Vitamin C, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, folic acid (B9), B12, B5 (pantothenic acid), Biotin, A, E, D2 or D3 (cholecalciferol), K, potassium, iodine, selenium, borates, zinc, calcium, magnesium , manganese, molybdenum, beta-carotene, and iron.

Generally check the percentages to choose a supplement that provides 100% of the daily value for most of the vitamins and minerals in it. Some nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium, are rarely included at 100% because the pill size would be too large to swallow.

Look for plugins

Modern multivitamins are available in a wide variety of formulas intended to help people with specific nutritional needs or conditions. Some of the most popular ones may come with or without iron, or come in high-strength formulas that contain at least two-thirds of the nutrients called for by the Recommended Dietary Allowances. Other vitamins can contain additional nutrients such as antioxidants, or formulations that are specialized for specific conditions, such as prenatal vitamins.

Formulas come for men, women, and age groups. The right multivitamin should be chosen according to your age and gender so that the nutrients listed are right for you.

Do not overdo it and avoid multivitamins that exceed 100% of the daily recommended values, because nutritional supplements as well as nutrients in food, and some, in large doses, can accumulate and become toxic.

Choose a multivitamin according to your age and gender

Most multivitamins are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of different people. “At different stages in your life, your nutritional needs change, and a well-chosen multivitamin can ensure that you get all the nutrients you need as you get older,” says Ansel. In addition to multivitamins aimed at groups such as the elderly, some multivitamins are targeted at women of childbearing age who need more iron in their diet, or prenatal vitamins for women considering pregnancy or who are already pregnant.

Since most multivitamins do not contain enough vitamin D or calcium, Ansel suggests taking these nutrients as additional supplements unless your diet is rich in milk and fish or calcium-fortified foods and drinks.

Types of nutritional supplements on the market

1. Supplement for Pregnant Women Only: This multivitamin supplement is designed for women in their pregnancy period. These nutrients include amounts close to the requirements for women ages 18 to 50, including more iron and folic acid to help prevent birth defects in women who are able to become pregnant.

2. Men Only Supplements: These supplements are specifically designed for the nutrient requirements of adult men up to the age of 50. These multivitamins contain higher doses of many vitamins and minerals, and often do not include iron because men need it less.

3. Dietary Supplement for Seniors: A multivitamin is intended for men and women over the age of 50. “These formulas take into account that after age 50, absorption slows for a few nutrients like calcium and vitamins B6 and B12, and you need more vitamin D,” says Ansel. Your body no longer produces enough acid needed to break down naturally occurring vitamin B12 from food. Synthetic B12 vitamins, found in supplements and in fortified foods, are easier to absorb and don’t require acid from your body.

Tips for choosing nutritional supplements

Choose the brands of large, trusted manufacturers or pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these supplements with licenses from large, trusted parent companies. They are based on gender and age. There are many dietary recommendations that differ between men and women over the age of 50. For example, when women stop menstruating, their iron needs decrease. to the same levels as men. Women who eat a balanced diet most of the time can take an adult multivitamin with very little or no iron.

Tips for storing vitamins

Dietary supplements don’t last forever, and they can lose potency over time, especially when not kept in proper storage. Check expiration dates, store in a cool dry place, and avoid hot, moist storage locations such as bathrooms.

Food supplements should be kept in a safe place out of the reach of children.

Dosage and method of use?

Most vitamins come in capsules, but they are also available as tablets, powders, and chewable tablets, as well as in liquid and injectable formulations that can only be given by health care providers in hospitals.

The difference between them is the rate at which they are absorbed into your body. Liquids tend to be absorbed faster, while coated pills are slower because the coating prevents absorption in the stomach.

If you have difficulty swallowing pills, you may find the coated gel capsule or liquid easier to swallow.

Some people prefer to take vitamins with breakfast or before bed. It really doesn’t matter what time of day you take your vitamin, but taking it with food can help ease any stomach discomfort.

Safety of vitamins and nutritional supplements

The government and relevant health agencies set tolerable upper limits on most vitamins and minerals, which take into account the nutrients you provide as well as the food and drinks you consume. The composition of a multivitamin varies by brand, but each must contain three or more vitamins and minerals in a dose below the upper limit allowed, and not include herbs, hormones, or drugs.

Vitamin supplements are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) as “Dietary Supplements” and are products taken by mouth and intended to supplement the diet.

Safety measure: In the United States, your safety measure is to look for the “USP” designation on the label. Vitamins that meet US Pharmacopeia (USP) requirements in the United States meet the standards and guarantee that the product is pure and actually contain the ingredients listed, as well as in the rest of the country a dietary supplement or other drug must be approved by the relevant Food and Drug Administration.


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