The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Vitamin Supplements

Nutritional or Dietary supplements have become a part of our modern life as there is little time to opt for healthy and homely meals, let alone time to eat properly. During the pandemic, there has also been an exponential growth in the supplement business as people rush to the pharmacy to buy vitamin and mineral supplements to enhance their immunity. But have you ever wondered how beneficial these dietary supplements might be?

Who Needs Vitamin Supplements?

Who do you think is in dire need of consuming supplements? Let’s look on to the list given below. – Women of reproductive age (require majorly vitamin D and Iron and Folic acid supplements) – Pregnant/ Lactating women (majorly require Iron and folic acid supplements) – People with darker complexion or less exposure to the sun (require vitamin D supplements) – Vegetarians (require vitamin B12) – Elderly population – People who are seriously ill/ disabled/ hospitalised

Vitamin Supplements That Are Commonly Used

1. Vitamin C Supplements

This is a commonly used vitamin supplement, either used alone or in combination with other vitamins and minerals. It is usually used for increasing immunity and its anti-inflammatory properties. Daily recommended amounts would range from 75-90mgs, with smokers requiring addition of extra 36mgs.

2. Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D is the most deficient nutrient in Indians because of our complexion, our clothing (that covers our whole body) and also due to usage of sunscreens that block the skin’s exposure to sunlight. Patients may be recommended to consume tablets ranging from 400 to 2000 IU of this vitamin. It is important to not consume large doses of Vitamin D tablets on a daily basis as it can lead to toxicity. Consult a physician/ dietician before consumption.

3. Folic Acid Supplements

Folic acid is required especially for pregnant women or women who are planning for a baby to prevent spinal defects (like spina bifida) in the baby. It is necessary to note that women who are planning to get pregnant should start consuming folic acid tablets to prevent the risk of neural defects from occurring. About 400mcgs of Folic acid would be enough.

4. Vitamin A Supplements

Vitamin A is required for eye health, immunity and it also has antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is stored in the body so you can easily obtain it from fruits or leafy vegetables and not worry about being deficient in this vitamin. Around 700-900mcgs of this vitamin would be required. Some supplements may indicate the Vitamin A content in them by using IU (International Units). About 3000 IU of Vitamin A is enough. Large doses of Vitamin A can lead to toxicity

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