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Are You Getting Enough? Everything You Need to Know About Vitamins

Aug 17, 2007
With a plethora of vitamin stores in malls and shelf after shelf full of vitamins in your local market or drug store, it can be very easy to overdo your vitamin intake by blindly taking vitamins you may not really need. Many people need to take certain supplements to ensure they are getting the right amounts of vitamins, however you don't want to overdo it not only to keep your vitamin budget in line but for serious health reasons as well.

Calcium
Calcium is an excellent vitamin to help build strong bones as well as prevent osteoporosis. Over 50% of all adults do not get the recommended daily dose of calcium (1,000-1,500mg per day). Those needing the most per day include pregnant and breast feeding mothers and children. Calcium supplements are offered in many different forms. The less expensive types may cause gas and constipation while the more expensive versions are typically more easily absorbed by your body and do not typically have as many adverse side effects. It is also important to note that calcium supplements are most efficient when taken over the course of the day instead of all at once. By spreading your daily dose out over the day, you increase the amount actually absorbed by your body.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is often taken to help prevent the common cold, but it has many other health benefits as well. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that you have to consume everyday; otherwise, your body will excrete the excess in your urine. A typical daily-recommended dose is 40-100mg for a typical adult, but many experts claim that 400-18000mg/day is desirable for a variety of health reasons. You will know that your dosage is too high if you start to develop diarrhea. Vitamin C is found abundantly in fresh fruits and vegetable and can be found commonly in supplemental form as well.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene are very important vitamins for healthy vision, skin and immunity. 5000 IU's is a typical daily-recommended dose of vitamin A and an average size carrot has about double the daily recommended amount. A vitamin A overdose can cause a variety of undesired side effects such as nausea, headache, enlarged liver, hair loss, exhaustion or loss of appetite. Vitamin A can be easily lacking in a typical diet and it is readily available in supplemental form.

The B Vitamins
Originally, Vitamin B was thought to be just one single vitamin, however, further research revealed that it was actually a combination of eight very distinct vitamins that now make up the Vitamin B family. The B vitamins help aid your metabolism, immune system and can also help fight fatigue and stress. Most people get their recommended daily amount of the B vitamins through food intake, the amount necessary varies with each B vitamin. However, it isn't uncommon to become B vitamin deficient. One very common way is to consume too much sugar. Refined sugar, drugs and processed foods can actually deplete your body's vitamin B storage.

Though there are obviously other vitamins, these are some of the more important ones that people are commonly deficient in or overdose on. The most important thing to remember about getting the right amount of vitamins is to eat a well-balanced diet and take supplements for anything you are lacking. It is possible to eat well and still need supplements, the most obvious examples are women and children needing an extra dose of calcium to keep and grow healthy bones.
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