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Supplements

by Louise January 18th, 2010 | Men's Health, Nutrition, Vitamins, Women's Health
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If you are having trouble getting all of the vitamins you need, you might consider taking daily vitamin supplements. Though there are a few studies against having people take multivitamins, in 2002, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and written by members of the Harvard School of Medicine,  concludes that “it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.” Daily supplements, however, are not a “one-size-fits-all” kind of solution. There are many different types of multi-vitamins available. They are tailored specifically towards a specific gender and age group. You will find them clearly marked so you know which one to take. However, your doctor might suggest a different type depending on the deficiency you are experiencing.

Women’s vitamins typically come with higher iron and calcium than a “general formula” multi-vitamin. That’s because women naturally do not absorb as much iron as men and also lose iron through menstruation. Women also typically eat less red meat, which is full of iron. Women who have gone through menopause, however, usually do not need a supplement that has extra iron. The elderly have different needs than middle-aged adults and should look for vitamins that specifically address this. (Some are labeled “50+.”) Pregnant women also have very different needs and should consult a doctor about taking supplements during their pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins often contain higher levels of folic acid and iron than the typical one.

If a bottle is labeled “high potency,” what does this mean? The FDA allows a company to label their multivitamin as having high potency if at least two-thirds of the included vitamins supply 100% of the recommended daily value. It usually means that the multivitamin provides a substantially high amount of both vitamin B and vitamin C.

It is important to remember that the best way to obtain vitamins is by eating vitamin-rich foods, not by taking supplements. Also, if your diet is rich in a certain vitamin, you should avoid taking supplements that cause you to have too much of that vitamin. Too much of anything can be more detrimental than helpful.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.