As a young child you may remember taking little Flinstone’s vitamins or maybe Gummy Vitamins. You were told to do so, and they probably tasted good, so you didn’t question it much. Now as an adult, you may still have this habit, but it is important to be asking yourself some questions. What is the truth about vitamins? Do I need vitamins? Can I take too many? What vitamins are best? Here are some simple questions answered when it comes to vitamins.
Do I Need Vitamins?
Vitamins are designed to fill in the holes of the vitamins you don’t get enough of naturally in your diet. Your body prefers to get the vitamins naturally from your foods, as they are absorbed better this way. Then a multivitamin can be used to fill in the gaps you did not quite reach. Vitamins can be in the form of a single nutrient, such as Iron, or a multi vitamin such as Centrum. It might be a good idea to talk to your diet or a nutritionist to evaluate your diet to see what type of supplement you may need. In most cases a daily multivitamin is sufficient, However, many people chose to go without and do just fine. If you are a healthy eater and get most of the vitamins you need naturally from your diet, then supplements may not be necessary. The decision is up to you.
Can Vitamins Be Harmful?
If you have ever heard the phrase “Too much of anything can be a bad thing,” it applies here as well. Although it is rare, it is possible to take too many vitamins. Many vitamins have upper limits, meaning at a certain point they start being more harmful than helpful. Although you do urinate out your water soluble vitamins, the process does take a few hours to get to the bladder and too much can potentially be harmful. Vitamins are not regulated by the FDA, so they are not required to put an upper limit on the label. In most cases, just following the directions and not taking more than the suggested amount works great.
What Vitamins Are Best?
As you may have noticed, vitamins come in all different formulas, shapes and sizes. When seeing your doctor, be sure to talk about your diet, and they can help you find the appropriate vitamins for your body type. In general, vitamins are better absorbed with food, and work in small supplements throughout the day. For example, a vitamin that recommends you take one with each meal might work better than one capsule a day. This is because your body rids itself of the excess water soluble vitamins it does not use every FOUR hours! These are your B vitamins, folic acid, Biotin, and vitamin C. If you take smaller supplements throughout the day, your body is likely to get more benefit from them.