Supplements Medical Conditions Nutritional

Many people take vitamin and other types of supplements each day to maintain and improve their health. However, while taking supplements can be beneficial to your health, some factors can affect whether or not certain amounts and types of nutrients are good for you.

For example, women going through menopause will have dramatically different nutritional needs than the average healthy adult woman who is still menstruating. Other factors that can alter your nutritional needs and possibly affect whether or not you should take particular vitamin supplements include:

  • age
  • current state of health
  • gender
  • genetic history (Those who are at a higher risk of developing certain conditions will have to take more or less of particular supplements.)
  • the location in which you live (Those who live in colder climates may have to take more of particular vitamins on a daily basis due to way in which the cold climate affects the body’s systems.)
  • whether or not you suffer from any chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • your lifestyle. (People who regularly consume large amounts of alcohol will have different nutritional needs than those who exercise regularly.)

If you are unsure of your personal nutritional needs, talk to a doctor. Be sure to be honest about your personal and family history, as well as your lifestyle practices. Being upfront about the details of your health and lifestyle is essential to determining your specific nutritional needs.

Choosing a Multivitamin

Once you are finished evaluating your personal nutritional needs, you will be ready to choose a multivitamin and/or identify other nutritional supplements that you should take. The following are some of the factors that can help you determine whether or not a multivitamin or other supplements are right for you:

  • Expiration date: Make sure that you get supplements that will last for a while. Similarly, don’t take supplements that have already expired, as they are far less effective after their expiration date. In other words, expired supplements won’t be nourishing you with enough of the nutrients you need.
  • FDA approval: Stick to supplements that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Nutrient amounts: Be sure that you choose a multivitamin and other supplements that provide you with the right amounts of the vitamins and minerals you need. If you have to choose between one that offers an excess amount and another that offers less than you need, opt for the supplement with less to avoid overdosing on vitamins, a situation that can cause serious, permanent health problems.
  • Supplement manufacturer: In general, opt for familiar brands that you trust. Avoid getting supplements made by companies that you have never heard of, as these can contain more impurities.

The most important thing to remember when you are finding the right multivitamin for you is that you shouldn’t automatically assume that all vitamins are safe. Just because a pill is labeled as a vitamin or mineral supplement doesn’t necessarily mean that it will improve your health.

As a result, talk to your doctor or nutritionist before starting any new supplement regimen.

Resource

Davis, Valerie Kramer (n.d.). The Best Multivitamin for You-And 11 to Steer Clear Of. Retrieved November 12, 2007, from the CNN Web site: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/08/22/healthmag.multivitamins/index.html.