Most of the vitamins that your body needs are sourced through a healthy and balanced diet. However, with different lifestyle demands and so many diets to choose from, obtaining these vitamins isn’t always easy. This is why many people seek aid from multivitamins and supplements.
We’re here to take you through important information regarding multivitamins and supplements, including when to know if you need them.
What Are Multivitamin Supplements?
It’s highly likely that you’ve heard about the term “multivitamin”. As the name suggests, multivitamin supplements contain a whole series of vitamins, rather than focusing on just one. It’s sensible to take a multivitamin every day, as they ensure you’re giving your body everything it needs to function normally.
Should I Be Taking Multivitamin Supplements?
If you maintain a balanced diet (full of greens, proteins, dairy, lean meats and unsaturated fats), you should be able to obtain all the nutrients your body needs. However, The Department of Health and Social Care recommends taking certain supplements for certain stages of life.
#Folic Acid During Pregnancy: If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, it is advised to take a folic acid supplement. Folic acid converts to Folate (vitamin B9) when in the body, which has been found to contribute to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy (EFSA, 2009).
For this reason, The UK Department of Health recommends for everyone in this category to take a 400mcg supplement of folic acid every day.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is one of the very few vitamins that can be obtained solely through diet. This is because it’s the “sunshine vitamin”; your body creates vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
During the colder months, exposure to strong enough sunlight isn’t easy, especially in the UK. This is why the Department of Health advises everyone to take 10mcg of vitamin D in supplement form every day. This applies to all age groups.
Vitamins A, C & D: To assist with growth and development, it is recommended for children between 6 months and 5 years to take supplements containing vitamins A, C and D. You can get more information regarding vitamins for children on the NHS website.
Alternative Situations: With so many different supplements out there, all tailored to different needs, deciding whether to take a multivitamin will be a completely personal decision. If you can’t maintain a balanced diet or have a medical condition that affects nutrient absorption, a health professional may recommend a certain supplement. Other people choose to take supplements to safeguard their intake and gain peace of mind.
Multivitamins and supplements should not be treated like candy. You should assess your options and lifestyle before adding one into your routine. A nutritionist will also be able to help you out on this journey, establishing what your body might need more of, and finding a supplement to suit. When it comes to more specific supplements, just remember that we are all different, and due to this, have different needs!