Your Daily Support: Effects of Supplements on Your Body

You might be wondering if taking vitamins or supplements is worth the cost, or will add any value to your body. According to the American Heart Association, examining the diet is the first step before buying nutritional supplements. If good nutrition is not a part of your diet, then no amount of supplements will make up for it. However, many nutritionists agree that getting 100% of vitamins and minerals from food is hard to do and a supplement may be necessary.

Supplements Do Help

Eating a well-balanced diet takes effort, but sometimes the body may still lack key ingredients for many reasons. For example, Vitamin D is very hard to get from food. Vitamin D is essential for good bone health, high blood pressure, diabetes, inflammation, and other issues. The biggest source of Vitamin D is the sun. Sun exposure for 15 to 20 minutes every day is enough for the body to manufacture this essential vitamin. In winter, or in colder climates this might not be possible so a supplement may help. More information can be found at

Overwhelming Options

Standing in the vitamin aisle staring at the rows and rows of bottles can be an intimidating experience. How do you know which one is right and what are they all designed to do? Hopefully your doctor is your health partner and asking for a blood workup may be helpful to know what your body is lacking. Once armed with that knowledge, choosing the right supplement is easier. Here’s a list of some common supplements and what they do.

    • Multivitamin–According to John’s Hopkins, more than half of adults take a multivitamin every day. Fifteen minerals and 13 vitamins are essential to health. They produce enzymes the body needs for hormones, immunity, nerves, organs, reproduction, maintenance, growth and regulation of body processes. A multivitamin may help to fill in the gaps.
    • Magnesium–This mineral is required by more than 600 enzymes in the human body. Magnesium (or lack thereof) is responsible for a multitude of proper functions. Without it, you might experience weakening of the bones, irregular heartbeat, blood pressure, and blood sugar, irritability, anxiety, muscle cramps or twitches and fatigue. That’s a lot of functions! If you suffer from any of these, you might consider magnesium.
    • Folic acid–Is a B Vitamin and very important for women of child-bearing age. The CDC recommends young women, or those who may become pregnant, to take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. Folic acid aids in the baby’s brain and spine development in the womb.

Some is Good, But More is NOT Better

It can be dangerous to take more of the recommended daily allowance of any vitamin or nutritional supplement. That’s because vitamins fall into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble. When taken in excess, water-soluble vitamins will come out of the body in urine. Fat-soluble vitamins, however, are stored in the liver. Too much of these will cause liver accumulation because the body has no way to remove it.

A Well Laid Plan

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor first about any concerns you have.  A blood test is a good starting point to discover any missing vitamins or minerals. Then, you can make a plan about how to include the right foods and supplements for improved health.

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