Dietary supplements and sensibility

Article submission, Friday 23rd May 2008

Some times it becomes less clear and difficult to understand whether we really need to take vitamins or not, while for some, taking vitamins is the short cut to health as they then feel free to indulge in junk. When to take Vitamins can also boggle us and if you have more than one to take, it’s a big dilemma whether to take them together or separately over time.

It is understandably easy to become confused with the whole array of dietary supplements on the shelves nowadays. One form may claim superiority in advertisements, but how are you to know for sure which ones are right for you? First of all, vitamins and minerals are needed in our bodies in relatively small amounts. Vitamins may be present in our blood, organs, or other tissues and each has a specific function.

Water- soluble vitamins (all the B vitamins and vitamin C) and many minerals act as co-enzymes, meaning they aid in chemical reactions in the body. Excessive amounts don't make reactions occur faster or more efficiently than adequate or recommended amounts. Plus, too much of one mineral may actually inhibit the absorption and effectiveness of another. Since these are water soluble, taken in excess just gives you expensive urine as nothing more than required is stored. Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) are involved in specific roles of maintenance and repair of body cells and tissues. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, extra amounts of fat-soluble vitamins are not excreted, so over-saturation of these may lead to toxicity and cause many irreversible damage.

Minerals have a variety of functions, ranging from water and acid-base balance, to bone structure and co-enzyme activity. Quite a number of people have expressed concern over whether their multi-vitamin "works" or "doesn't work"; that is not really the point of these supplements. Their purpose is to help certain people fill in nutritional gaps when they are unable to eat enough food or obtain adequate vitamins and minerals from their diet. Multi-vitamins also might be recommended for some vegetarians, dieters, and others who have food allergies, intolerances, or other problems associated with eating particular foods. A supplement may benefit the elderly too, because sometimes older people can't absorb nutrients, recommended for growing children who are sometimes fussy eaters and people with specific medical conditions.

supplemets Remember, the meaning of a dietary supplement is to add to a diet, as a supplementary, not to take the place of food! Always keep in mind that food is the superior source and a supplement will not erase the ill effects of a bad diet. Queries do not end there, when to take vitamin to get its maximum benefit? familiar! A multi-vitamin usually contains an assortment of vitamins and minerals from A to Z in varying amounts depending on the formulation.

So sometimes Vitamins such as C and E and minerals like Calcium, which are prescribed for certain people in larger amounts, are available separately. For example, smokers need additional vitamin C daily; heavy drinkers need additional B-complex, pregnant women and women taking the "pill" need additional folic acid. The basic rule is that multi-vitamins or other vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken during or right after a meal for maximum absorption. The fat-soluble vitamins need to be taken with a meal that contains some fat. If you are the kind of person who is taking a multivitamin, B-complex, C, and E, you can take them all together after your biggest meal of the day.

If you are taking fibre supplements, don't take them together with your multi-vitamin. Fibre can bind with fat-soluble vitamins and minerals making them unavailable for your body. Your body cannot absorb more than 500 mg Calcium at a time, so if you are taking 1,000 mg take your pills at separate times of the day. Some experts say night time is the best time to take your calcium along with milk at the end of the day, and get good sleep too.

Calcium interferes with the absorption of iron so don't take them together. Now what if your multivitamin contains both calcium and iron? Don’t worry about it because the small amount of calcium that is typically in a multi-vitamin will not affect the absorption of the iron. It's only when you take calcium in larger amounts that it will overpower the iron in your multi-vitamin.Calcium is best absorbed when you have an adequate amount of vitamin D in your body. You can produce your own source of vitamin D from sun exposure.

Ideally iron should be taken on empty stomach or a small meal if you are prone to nausea. Coffee and tea bind with iron and can make you absorb less, Whilst vitamin C makes you absorb iron better, so take your iron with your vitamin C supplement or with a glass of orange or citrus fruit. Before you get pregnant or are planning to do so start with folic acid, it helps to prevent birth defects. Take B group vitamins if you are having a stressful day or are exhausted it helps in insomnia too. Choose the same time every day, whether morning or evening so it becomes a habit. And put multivitamin near your dinning area and calcium near your bed side. Have a supplemented life.

Above information is given in good faith however for any diseased condition please consult physician or dietitian before starting it. Your questions and suggestions are welcome at:

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