Vitamin Supplements: Are They Really Necessary?

February 16, 2017   /   byHealthier Societies  / Categories :  Health

Most Americans believe that vitamin supplements improve their health with roughly 71% of the population taking them as part of the diet, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

Yet do they really provide the intended benefits for a well-balanced nutrition? Nutritionists and the supplements industry both say yes and no. How so? It starts with a person’s diet.

Nutritional Value

Our increasingly fast-paced lifestyle has made it more difficult for us to meet the required daily amount of nutrition, especially for adults. That’s why taking vitamins and minerals fill the nutritional gap when we couldn’t reach for a piece of fruit or green and leafy vegetables.

However, experts advise that people should not solely depend on vitamin supplements. Douglas MacKay, the Council for Responsible Nutrition spokesman, said that supplements exist to add extra value to our nutritional needs. It should not be a complete substitute for healthy food. Otherwise, the industry should rename them.

The same rule applies to toddlers. Parents should turn to vitamins as a last option if their child is a picky eater. Experts recommend an age-appropriate vitamin free from choking hazards, although children below two years old should not take supplements.

 What’s Your Vitamin?

Data from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements showed that multivitamins represented that biggest market for the supplements industry. Those who take it account for 75% of users. Vitamin D and C followed with 37% and 34% of users taking them, respectively, while calcium is the fourth most common supplement at 29%.

Those who want to maximize the intended benefits of supplements should also consider cutting back on calorie and sugar intake.

The necessity of taking vitamins and minerals depends on your diet and lifestyle. As long as you follow the recommend diet for your age, you will be fine even without taking them.

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