Vitamins

Vitamin supplements can be used when dietary intake of a particular vitamin is not practical or possible. We can get vitamins naturally by eating healthy foods or by taking vitamin supplements.

It is always best to seek advice from your doctor on what vitamin supplements and minerals may be suited to your specific needs before you start taking them. Some vitamins can be harmful in high doses or may interact with prescribed drugs.

People who may benefit from vitamin and mineral supplements include:

Remember:

  • vitamins and minerals from food are usually absorbed by the body better than those contained in pills
  • folic acid supplements are better absorbed by the body than folate from food sources
  • vitamin and mineral pills taken as a form of medicine to cure or prevent certain ailments is a misconception
  • vitamin and mineral supplements taken in high dosages can be harmful
  • vitamin supplements won't necessarily make stressful feelings or tiredness go away.

Before taking any herbal medicines or vitamin supplements

Herbal medicines can improve your health, especially if they're combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. But some may have unwanted effects especially if you:

Source: Queensland Government1

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Vitamins are substances that your body needs to grow and develop normally. There are 13 vitamins your body needs. They are

You can usually get all your vitamins from the foods you eat. Your body can also make vitamins D and K. People who eat a vegetarian diet may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement.

Each vitamin has specific jobs. If you have low levels of certain vitamins, you may get health problems. For example, if you don't get enough vitamin C, you could become anemic. Some vitamins may help prevent medical problems. Vitamin A prevents night blindness.

The best way to get enough vitamins is to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods. In some cases, you may need to take vitamin supplements. It's a good idea to ask your health care provider first. High doses of some vitamins can cause problems.

Source: MedLinePlus (NIH)2

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Vitamins: Organic substances that are required in small amounts for maintenance and growth, but which cannot be manufactured by the human body.3

Types

Types may include:4

Types of Vitamin:

  • Fat-Soluble Vitamin
  • Water-Soluble Vitamin

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References

  1. Source: Queensland Government: qld.gov.au/ health/ staying-healthy/ diet-nutrition/ supplements
  2. Source: MedLinePlus (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ vitamins.html
  3. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  4. Source: NCI Thesaurus
  5. Source: MedLinePlus (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ stomachdisorders.html

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.