Should You Take Vitamins?

Photo Credit: Ragesoss CC-BY-SA-3.0

Vitamins are necessary for nearly every bodily function. Some vitamins are essential to your health: Vitamins A, C, D, E and K. You also need all of the B-vitamins including riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, biotin, folate and panthothenic acid. Too much of anything can be harmful to your health, and this holds true for vitamins as well. If you eat a well-balanced diet, you should be getting all the nutrition you need. Those who exercise strenuously on a regularly basis, body builders and runners may need a vitamin supplement. People who are limiting caloric intake and exercising to lose weight may also need a vitamin supplement. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding may also need to take a vitamin supplement to help prevent neural tube birth defects, like spina bifida. See your doctor if you think you need a vitamin supplement. 
An over-the-counter vitamin supplement may be necessary, especially for body builders and people who engage in frequent, vigorous exercise. Should you decide to take a vitamin supplement, consider taking a multivitamin. Choose one that does not contain ingredients that you may not need and may cause an adverse reaction. Some multivitamin supplements contain herbal extracts, which you don’t need and don’t want to take. Always read the label before taking a multivitamin. 
Consider your current health, your diet, your fitness level and how much you exercise and talk to your doctor before taking a vitamin supplement. A dietitian can help you to assess your nutrient intake from the foods you eat and help you adjust your diet to get more nutrients. 

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