Daily Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Diet and Weight Loss Tutorial

Our bodies require a continuous supply of vitamins and minerals in order to function properly. Vitamins and minerals play a vital role in maintaining every part of our body, and help keep our immune system and brain functioning well. While it is true that our body can store some vitamins, others must be replenished on a frequent basis.

Would you benefit from taking a vitamin and mineral supplement? You might not if you eat a regular, well-balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meat, and all of the following apply:

  • You are in perfect health.
  • You do not diet, restricting what you eat.
  • You always get an adequate amount of sleep.
  • You perform moderate exercise on a regular basis.
  • You are not an athlete.
  • You do not perform strength building exercise.
  • You are never under physical stress.
  • You are never under mental or emotional stress.
  • You do not take medication.
  • You are not pregnant or lactating.
  • You never drink more than a little alcohol.
  • You do not smoke, and haven't in recent years.

The list could certainly be longer, but we expect that we have made our point. Everybody should consider taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement, and especially someone that's restricting what they eat -- either in quantity or variety.

A Word of Caution

We do not mean to dismiss the importance of obtaining vitamins and minerals from nutritious foods. In fact, taking a vitamin and mineral supplement could be harmful if you took it in place of eating healthy foods. You cannot expect a vitamin and mineral supplement to counter the effects of a poor diet. You must eat healthy foods to avoid disease.

However, a daily supplement is a very inexpensive way to help ensure that your body is getting all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to function well. We also recommend that you wear seat belts and check your smoke alarms on a regular basis. It's all common sense.

A Few Additional Points to Consider

  • You may also want to take additional quantities of particular vitamins or minerals to meet the requirements of your particular needs. For example, if you are concerned about osteoporosis, you may want to take additional calcium and vitamin D if you don't eat enough calcium-rich foods.
  • Specific recommendations are beyond the scope of this tutorial, and we suggest that you turn to your doctor for advice.

  • Vitamins such as B and C are water soluble, and generally any excess you consume will be excreted in the urine.
  • Vitamins such as A, D and E are fat soluble, and can be stored in your body. If you consume too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, it can build up in your body to harmful levels.

    While this should not be of concern if you are only taking a daily vitamin and mineral supplement, check with your doctor before taking any additional vitamins or minerals.

  • Some medications may deplete your body of certain nutrients or interfere with your body's ability to use them effectively. (And conversely, some foods may interfere with your body's ability to use certain medications effectively.)
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medication on a regular basis.

  • Vitamins deteriorate over time, especially when exposed to air, light, heat or moisture. Check the expiration date when you buy them, and keep them in a cool, dark place with the lid screwed on tight.

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