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Three vitamins you should consider taking daily – says doctor

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

As a general rule, people should not take vitamins if they are eating a healthy diet.

There are however some medical conditions or circumstances when taking vitamins are recommended.

As explained by Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Pharmacy:

Many news articles, advertisements and blog posts may be trying to convince you otherwise, but don’t get bamboozled into parting with your cash.

When your body has taken the vitamins it needs from your food, any excess vitamins are simply peed down the toilet!

The doctor has given three examples – Folic acid, Vitamin D and Iron.

Folic acid is recommended in preconception and pregnancy, according to Dr Lee.

She said:

Women are recommended to take vitamin B9 (folic acid) 400 mcg per day, for three months before they start trying for a baby and for the first three months of pregnancy.

This is to reduce the risk of a baby being born with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida or anencephaly.

Vitamin D plays many important roles in the body. It helps control bone growth and metabolism, but it also governs the immune system and has a vital role in the immune response.

Iron supplements are often prescribed for patients with iron-deficient anaemia.

However, not everyone needs to take them, contrary to some advice you might have read.

Dr Lee said:

Iron supplements can have side effects and should not be used by people who are not anaemic.

People in high-risk groups may need to take other vitamins.

Dr Lee explained:

Sometimes patients may find themselves in a group at high risk for malabsorption and hence malnutrition.

If this happens, they will be advised to take additional vitamins.

Examples of conditions that may cause a need for extra vitamins to include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s Disease), coeliac disease, eating disorders, or after weight loss surgery.
  • Those at risk of osteoporosis, such as postmenopausal women, may be advised to take additional calcium and vitamin D. This should be discussed with your doctor.
  • People who drink a lot of alcohol may be advised to take vitamins, as they often have a poor diet, and may have liver failure.

The most important thing you can do for yourself is to eat a healthy diet, full of fresh food, including fruit and vegetables, Dr Lee said.

You don’t need to take vitamins in supplement form to be healthy.

The doctor added:

Your body is designed to absorb vitamins from food and will always absorb these nutrients better from real food, than from any tablet or capsule.

Fresh food is full of antioxidants which are vital for good health.

Antioxidants you get from your diet, counteract reactive oxygen species and stop them from doing cellular damage and increasing your risk of things like heart disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes and dementia. This is why you need to eat your greens!

Sadly, just taking antioxidants as supplements is not thought to have the same effect.

The message is – don’t waste money on expensive supplements, spend your money on good food instead.

Image Credit: Getty

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