Quick Guide To Vitamin Supplements

By using this quick guide to vitamin supplements you will know what vital nutrients you need to improve your health and prevent disease.

**This information is for educational purposes only.**

vitaminsupplementsVitamin supplements do not make up for a poor diet or bad lifestyle habits. They may, however, fill in any nutrient gaps in your diet and help ensure your most desirable health.

Vitamins are
vital nutrients essential to life and contribute to good health. Nutrients are involved in all body processes from combating infection to repairing tissue to thinking.

Evidence shows that vitamin supplements can lower the risk of many diseases and should supplement a healthy diet. They are available in tablet, capsule, powder, lozenge and liquid forms.

In using this quick guide to vitamin supplements you will learn about the 13 vitamins that are considered essential to good health. Four are fat soluble and nine are water soluble.

The fat soluble vitamins can be stored for longer periods of time in the body’s fatty tissue and in the liver. These include vitamins
A, D, E and K. Mega doses of these vitamins can build up in the body and can cause a toxic reaction.

Water soluble vitamins are stored in smaller amounts in the body and must be taken daily. These include vitamin
C and the B vitamins. Mega doses of these vitamins are quickly flushed out of the body by the kidneys.

Do not think that if some is good, more is better. This way of thinking does not apply to vitamins. Large doses of vitamins over long periods of time may trigger side effects, which can be serious.

Choosing a brand.

Most supplement manufacturers buy their vitamins from the same group of suppliers. However, brands differ in the amount of each nutrient and use of additives and fillers.

All vitamins are essentially the same - look for the bargain. Brand names are heavily advertised and all you are doing is paying for the advertising.

One-a day verses multiple dosing.

One-a-day vitamin supplements are convenient, but not necessarily the most effective.

Experts generally recommend choosing a supplement that requires you to take doses spread out over the day so your body can assimilate the ingredients better. Take the multiple with meals for better absorption and to eliminate stomach distress.

Time release supplements.

Time release vitamin supplements should be avoided. They cost more and may be less effective. With the exception of vitamin B3 (niacin) and iron. They should be taken as time released versions.
B3 (niacin) can cause a temporary flushing of the skin, and iron can cause constipation and indigestion.

Natural or synthetic?

The body uses both synthetic and natural vitamin supplements in the same manner. You do not need to pay more to buy natural vitamins. However, there is one exception and that is vitamin
E. Natural vitamin E is absorbed better than the synthetic form. The natural form of vitamin E is identified as d-alpha tocopherol.

Additives and fillers.

If you have a food sensitivity or allergy look for products that claim to be free of cornstarch, milk, salt, soy, sugar, wheat and yeast. Typical fillers include cellulose, magnesium stearate, rice concentrate, silica and talc.

If you are vegetarian and want to avoid all animal products, you need to check labels for gelatin. It is made from animals, unless specified that the capsule is vegetable based.

Are your supplements working?

Sometimes vitamin and
mineral tablets fail to dissolve in the body. Usually due to poor manufacturing practices. But if you want to test your tablets, here’s how:

Heat up any type of vinegar to about 100 degrees F, keep the liquid warm and at a steady temperature.
Place one tablet in the cup of liquid for 30 to 45 minutes; stirring the liquid periodically, avoid hitting the pill.
If the tablet does not dissolve within 45 minutes, it may not dissolve completely in the intestines, which diminishes its effectiveness.
NOTE This test does not work for time release products and is not necessary for chewable tablets.

Storing and shelf life.

Vitamins should be kept in a cool, dark place and out of reach from children. Store vitamins
A and E in the refrigerator.

Look at the expiration dates printed on product packages. Once they have passed their expiration date they will not be as effective or as potent as they should be.

% Daily Values (DV)

Food labels and supplements list the DV of various nutrients. This number indicates how much 1 serving contributes to the percent of the required nutrients for a 2,000 calorie diet.

You may need more or less than the 100% DV depending on your state of health, age, gender and level of physical activity.

Many people have a marginal nutrient deficiency that prevents them from functioning at an optimal level. In fact, government studies have shown that nearly half of all Americans have some kind of nutrient deficiency.

Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)

The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Counsel created the new term Dietary Reference Intake to replace the old term Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) in 1997.

The DRI includes all of the nutrients that had been assigned an RDA and the nutrients that have not been assigned an RDA, but believed to be important.

The nutrients believed to be important, but have not been assigned RDA’s are assigned another category termed Adequate Intakes (AI’s).

The DRI’s are based on overall health, age and gender. (Experts assuming that the person is in good health.) The dosages are specifically designed to reduce the risk of chronic disease and do not take into account factors that can increase a persons requirements for additional nutrients.

Factors that increase a persons requirements include alcohol and drug use, smoking, poor diet, environmental toxins,
stress and poor hygiene.

This is the reason most health professionals view DRI’s as the out-in-out minimum levels from nutrients and may recommend higher dosages for optimal health.

Most people do not think of vitamin supplements as drugs or medications; but when they are consumed in excess of their Recommended Daily Allowances , they become pharmacologic agents that alter normal biochemical and metabolic processes.

No two people seem to have the same vitamin requirements. One person may need twice as much of one vitamin or food as another to stay healthy. The amount of vitamins to stay healthy is known as the optimum amount.

Minimum daily amounts of vitamins just keep you functioning, while optimum amounts mean those levels that maintain maximum health. If you’re unable to get the vitamins you need from your diet, the best way to ensure you’re taking in enough nutrients is to add an all natural supplement to your diet.

Quick Guide To Vitamin Supplements
Nutrient minimal - optimal ranges.

Nutrient     Minimal - Optimal Ranges
Vitamin A     3,000   -   10,000 IU
Beta-carotene     5,000   -   25,000 IU
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)     1.5   -   500 milligrams
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)     1.7   -   200 milligrams
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
(slow release)
    20   -   500 milligrams 
       -   250 milligrams
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)     10   -  1,000 milligrams
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)     2   -   250 milligrams 
Biotin (Vitamin B7)      300 micrograms -  5 milligrams 
Folic acid (Vitamin B9)      400  -   1,000 micrograms  
 Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)     6   -   3,000 micrograms 
Vitamin C      60   -   2,000 milligrams 
Vitamin D      400   -   2,400 IU 
Vitamin E     30   -   1,000 IU
Vitamin K     80   -   30,000 micrograms **


** Synthetic vitamin
K used in large doses during the last few weeks of pregnancy may result in a toxic reaction in the newborn.


Other vital nutrients will be available in other sections of this website. Please check back periodically for added information and products.


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