How To Choose The Best Vitamins And Supplements To Take
Scientist are unsure whether taking a multivitamin every day really fends off disease, however many people do take them in order to boost or maintain their health. Other individuals take only one mineral or vitamin, like iron, in order to make up for a deficiency in their diets.
Before adding a vitamin or supplement to your daily regimen, you should go over the following questions with your physician, registered dietitian or pharmacist.
How can this supplement benefit me? Is it something I need to take to prevent disease or for a certain medical condition?
What has research found regarding its benefits?
What dose would I take?
For how long and when would I need to take it?
Should I take it in liquid, powder or pill form?
What is the best form of this vitamin (for instance vitamin D2 or vitamin D3)?
Does it have any side effects?
In terms of effectiveness, safety and quality, what are the best brands for this supplement?
Can I take the vitamin or supplement along with the other medications that I take? Are there any foods that I need to avoid? If I am having surgery, will it be necessary for me to stop taking it?
Which Form Of Vitamin Should You Take?
Supplements and vitamins come in several different forms, including powders, liquids and pills. The best one for you to choose will depend on what type you prefer to take and how the various forms work with your body. As an example, some work only in a type of dry extra form, like a pill or capsule. Others are more effective and work more quickly in liquid form. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you aren’t sure which form is the best one for you to take.
There are some specific supplements that come in pill form because they become dangerous or stop working if they come into contact with your stomach acid. Some individuals have problems absorbing vitamins from pills or might have problems swallowing tablets or capsules so need to take the vitamin or supplement in liquid form.
All forms of nutrients aren’t the same. As an example, vitamin D supplements are either vitamin D3 or vitamin D2. Vitamin E also comes in several different types. If you aren’t sure which type of supplement to take for your needs, discuss it with your doctor.
Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA like foods instead of as medications. Makers of supplements, unlike drug manufacturers, are not required to show that their products are effective or safe before being able to sell them. However, if one is proven to be unsafe, the FDA can take it off the market.
The bottom line is: Be careful when shopping for new products and do your research first. Other things you can do to keep yourself safe:
If you already consume a balanced diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, find a vitamin that contains a maximum of 100% of the daily values of a majority of vitamins and minerals.
Our bodies do need these essential nutrients, however in high doses some of them can be harmful. It is particularly important to get excessive amounts of the vitamins A, D, E and K, since these will build up inside of your body and could become toxic.
Who Needs To Avoid Vitamins And Supplements?
For individuals with certain health conditions, taking supplements isn’t a good idea. In addition, they may prevent some medication from being as effective as they could be or working properly. Before adding any supplement to your diet, be sure to speak with your doctor first. People who need to avoid certain supplements include:
Breastfeeding and pregnant women, since certain supplements can be dangerous for babies. Daily prenatal vitamin have the right amounts and types of nutrients for women who are expecting or breastfeeding.
Individuals who take steroids, drugs that turn the immune system down, aspirin, blood thinners, diuretics or heart medications. There is always a chance with any drug that it won’t mix very well with supplements. However, with these drugs the problems can potentially be especially severe.
Individuals who are preparing to have surgery, since some of the products can cause bleeding and other potentially dangerous complications.
Individuals who are receiving treatment for cancer or who have had it in the past. Some supplements may make cancer treatments less effective or help cancer cells to grow.
4 Smart Shopping Tips
Keep the following tips in mind, when you are ready to buy supplements:
Look for evidence from scientific studies appearing in credible publications about how effective the product is. Such studies can be searched for in the PubMed database for the National Institutes of Health (NIH): www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed. Another thing you can do is contact the manufacturer and find out what published studies are available that back their claims up. Also ask how they make sure the ingredients that are listed on their supplement labels actually are inside the bottles.
Be on guard for any product claiming it has a money-back guarantee, is all-natural or will cure a disease. If a supplement sounds like it is too good to be true, it probably is.
Choose brands that have been labeled with the Consumer Lab, US Pharmacopeia or NSF International seal. They verify that the ingredients appearing on the label are actually contained in the product, and that there aren’t any potentially harmful ingredients in the product.
Be cautious about any supplements that are not made in the United States. Some might have toxic ingredients in them and many of them are not regulated.
3 Vitamin Storage Tips
Supplements do need to be cared for so that they continue to work well, and they don’t last forever. After purchasing them:
Store them in a dry, cool and dark place. Don’t keep them in a damp spot such as the bathroom.
Keep them in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf, out of the reach of children.
Some supplements and vitamins wear out if they sit on shelves for too long. Check your supply on a regular basis and throw out any of them that are past the expiration date.
Always inform your doctor about any supplements or vitamins you are planning to take, particularly if you are on any regular medication or have a health condition. Products don’t well equally well for everyone. Some may also be dangerous.