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:
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The doctor has given three examples – Folic acid, Vitamin D and Iron.
Folic acid is recommended in preconception and pregnancy, according to Dr Lee.
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:
People in high-risk groups may need to take other vitamins.
Dr Lee explained:
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:
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