If we do not eat enough vegetables and fruits, we miss vital nutrients, which can bring down our hazard for heart illness, stroke, disease, and other health conditions.

As indicated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), grown-ups ought to devour 1.5-2 cups of fruits 2-3 cups of vegetables every day. However, in a current CDC study, they found that 76% of adults don't eat enough fruits and most of the grown-ups don't eat enough vegetables.

So how to get your nutrients? A multivitamin. A multivitamin resembles an insurance policy, an everyday assurance to guarantee your body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs. It can compensate for the deficits that happen when you don't get what you require through food.

Here are a couple of more key motivations to take a multivitamin:

A. Healthy aging: As we age, our nutritious needs increment. In the meantime, it gets harder for the body to absorb nutrients. Prescriptions can additionally exhaust our body of nutrients. A multivitamin can offset these deficiencies.


B. Good for your heart: Studies demonstrate that taking a great multivitamin may lessen cardiovascular infection. Heart illness is the primary source of death in the both men and women in U.S. Vitamins B1, B2, B6, K1, Niacin (B3), CoQ10 and magnesium, all assume a part in cardiovascular health.

C. Reduces cancer risk: Vitamin utilize been related to a diminished danger of a few cancers. A current investigation of 14,000 men matured 50, and older found that daily multivitamin supplementation "significantly diminished the risk of aggregate cancer."

D. Boosts immunity: Vitamin C is a solid antioxidant known for strengthening the immune system. Vitamin D and E support immunity, as well. These vitamins can likewise help decrease allergy symptoms.

E. Supports eye health: Vitamins A, C, E, Niacin (B3), and selenium help eye health. Lutein and Zeaxanthin likewise shield the eyes from destructive light waves.

F. Water-soluble vitamins: Excess fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are put away in the body. Water-soluble vitamins (B and C) are most certainly not. Excess water-soluble vitamins just go through the body. This implies it's important to take these necessary vitamins on a daily basis.

G. Healthy hair and skin: New research says to look for Vitamins B3 (Niacin), biotin, and Vitamin C for a full hair. For solid skin, search for Vitamins A, C, E, and CoQ10.

H. Feel better: Thanks very much to the Vitamin B family, taking a multivitamin is related to a boost in energy levels, sentiments of prosperity, and additionally a decline in stress and tension. This by itself, makes it worth remaining consistent with a multivitamin schedule.

Should I Take A Multivitamin Everyday

By rights, we ought to be healthier than ever. We can't move without experiencing a vitamin or two – we can purchase vitamin-infused water, vitamin-enriched foods, even vitamin gum.

At that point, there are the customary staples that typically accompany included vitamins, for example, breakfast cereal, bread, and milk.

However even with the greater part of that, a considerable lot of us take a supplement of some shape or another.

It's a piece of our mind to pop a multivitamin when we're feeling run down. A few of us do it as routinely as brushing our teeth. In any case, is it essential? Could it be able to try and be harming our health?

Diet vs. Supplements
Others contend that supplementation is a smart thought given our tendency towards imbalanced diets. "In a perfect world, we ought to get every one of our vitamins through our diet," says Frida Harju, an in-house nutritionist at health app Lifesum.

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"In any case, because of the bustling idea of every life and expanded anxiety levels, here and there we don't get all we require from food. Should that be the situation, certain precisely picked vitamins can be a helpful support for our bodies."

It is unquestionably genuine that particular vitamins might be more important relying upon conditions. Public Health England currently advised that everybody living in the UK should take vitamin D in winter, as we don't get enough sunlight for our skin to synthesize sufficient amounts.

Moms to-be, or those becoming pregnant, should take folic acid. Vegetarians and vegans are typically encouraged to supplement with B vitamins.

Is it Safe?
The attitude towards multivitamins is usually that some additional protection can't hurt. To some degree this is genuine – most vitamins are water-soluble, and abundance is discharged.

Some fat-soluble vitamins can develop in the body, yet most specialists console that one would need to be vastly overdosing to hit toxic levels.

"There is no proof that supplementation, at the levels found in over-the-counter products can harm your health," says Dr. Carrie Ruxton, a dietitian with the Health Supplements Information Service.

"If you have an erratic diet and skip breakfast, an everyday multivitamin would help" "An ideal method for picking is to take a gander at the holes in your diet and health needs.

If you are not eating oily fish (inset) once every week, you may require a fish oil supplement; if you are post-menopausal, you could profit by vitamin D in addition to calcium; if you are a teenage girl or young woman, you could profit by a mineral supplement."

What next? This isn't to imply that a catch-all pill may not be in our future: scientists claim to have made a mix of 30 vitamins and minerals that can defend mental aptitude and memory, with trials because of begin on people inside a few years.

In any case, for the present, the counsel is by all accounts: utilize your common sense, eat a balanced and varied diet, and visit your doctor if you speculate you are deficient in something.

Should I Take A Multivitamin In The Morning Or At Night

Around 40 percent of Americans utilize vitamin or mineral supplements, as indicated by an article distributed on the IDEA HEALTH & FITNESS ASSOCIATION website.

Should I Take A Multivitamin In The Morning Or At Night

Not everyone acknowledges, nonetheless, that when you take your supplements may have any effect, in any event for a few people. For the most part, you can take them at whatever time is convenient for you, yet you'll get more benefits if you take into consideration potential collaborations and symptoms.

Benefits of Taking Vitamins in the Morning

A few people may locate that taking multivitamins at night meddles with their sleep, making them wake up more frequently amid the night and get less sleep generally speaking.

A study published in Sleep Medicine in December 2007 found that there was an association between multivitamin utilize and poor sleep, yet this doesn't demonstrate that the vitamins caused the sleep problems.

If you feel taking vitamins at night meddles with your sleep, it might be better for you to take them in the morning.

Benefits of Taking Vitamins At Night

A few people may feel sick when they take multivitamins or supplements containing iron. This is particularly the case with women/ladies who get morning affliction amid pregnancy.

For this situation, it might be smarter to take your vitamins at night when you might have the capacity to sleep through any adverse effects, as indicated by MedlinePlus.

Eating a little snack in the meantime as you take your vitamin may likewise help restrict this symptom, as can splitting your pill and taking half in the morning and a half at night.

Vitamin Sort Contemplations

Multivitamins and the fat-soluble vitamins are best taken around meal times in light of the fact that the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K require a source of fat for absorption, and the iron in multivitamins is more averse to cause symptoms, for example, nausea, when taken with food, The water-soluble B vitamins, and vitamin C don't really should be taken with food and ought to be well-absorbed paying little mind to whether you bring them during the evening or in the morning.

Interaction Considerations

A few vitamins and minerals interact with each other, with compounds in food or with medications, potentially meddling with their absorption.

For instance, iron and calcium shouldn't be taken together, and you ought to likewise abstain from eating high-fiber foods or drinking coffee or tea when you take a multivitamin or iron supplement.

Check with your doctors to check whether any supplements you're thinking about may interface with any medications you're on, as you may need to take the supplements at an alternate time or not under any condition to restrain the danger of unfavorable impacts.

Taking Multivitamins Before Bed

You chose to begin another vitamin regimen. You have your doctors approval and have purchased the vitamins that you, or your doctor, feel will help your general health.

Taking Multivitamins Before Bed

The objectives may incorporate enhancing energy levels, supplementing a lack in your diet or advancing a healthy heart.

The custom of taking vitamins before you go to bed keeps things straightforward, yet there are a few contemplations with regards to the best time you should take certain supplements.

Vitamin Basics

Most vitamins are best taken with some food to help in the absorption of the supplement, as indicated by Natasha Turner, N.D., of True Star Health.

Taking vitamins for the day at various internals likewise, helps in keeping up appropriate levels of each supplement.

Therefore, taking vitamins in little measurements for the day gives optimal balance.

Bedtime Vitamins

Certain vitamins are best taken on an empty stomach, making bedtime time a perfect time for consuming them. Calcium is one such supplement, and it even advances better sleep since it is a natural muscle relaxant, according to Turner.

Probiotics, green foods, and herbal cures are different supplements prescribed preceding bedtime on an empty stomach. Vitamins B and C do well in acidic conditions. Both are water-soluble vitamins that can be taken at bedtime.

Non-Bedtime Vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K are more readily absorbed when there is a fatty food source in the stomach to aid in the breakdown of the vitamins for absorption.

These vitamins are not good bedtime supplement candidates. If you do want to take them at night, eating a fatty snack such as a piece of cheese may help provide the fat source to aid in digestion.

This method will be counter-effective if you are taking other vitamins at the same time that absorb more readily on an empty stomach.

Vitamin D absorption is also enhanced by the presence of calcium, so taking at least part of your calcium supplement with vitamin D can improve the efficiency of the vitamin.

Take 500 mg of calcium at a time, because this amount is efficiently absorbed and, if you need more, take it in divided doses.

Medication Considerations
Medications and supplements may have opposing objectives, with one rendering the other ineffective. Review all medications and vitamin supplements with your doctor or pharmacist to prevent supplement opposition.

H2 blockers deplete stomach acids, making water-soluble vitamins harder to take. Your doctor can help you create a schedule to maximize the effectiveness of both.

All or Nothing
If you are taking vitamin supplements with no contraindications to any prescriptions and your choice is to take them all at night or not at all, you are not creating a problem by taking them all at once.

However, Turner does recommend taking all pills with the largest meal of the day if you are going to only bring them at one time.

In the end, you will only affect the absorption of some of the vitamins, which means you are still getting some of the supplement, just not the ideal amount.

Do be aware of over-supplementing. It is possible to take too much and have a toxic reaction, according to KidsHealth website.

Benefits Of Taking A Multivitamin

Introduction
Multivitamins are dietary supplements that come in tablet, capsule or pill form and provide you with an array of essential vitamins and minerals. You can find them in most grocery stores, as well as health food stores.

Benefits Of Taking A Multivitamin

Taking a multivitamin every day may provide several health benefits. Before taking vitamins, consult your doctor; pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking can affect how your body responds to multivitamins.

Illness Recovery
When you're sick, your body isn't functioning at its peak performance and may not be able to use or get all the vitamins and minerals it needs to recover quickly, according to the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus.

The institutes say a multivitamin taken during this time can help immediately provide your ill body with the nutrients it needs to recuperate.

Dietary Restrictions
Strict dieters--for example, those consuming 1,600 calories a day or fewer--or those following a vegan or vegetarian diet may not be able to get all the minerals and vitamins they need through food intake alone.

A multivitamin can help ensure proper nutrition, according to the Mayo Clinic. For example, some vegans may have low levels of certain B-vitamins that are chiefly found in animal products but can get the vitamins through a daily multivitamin.

Prenatal Health and Lower Birth Anomalies
A pregnant woman has much higher vitamin needs than a non-pregnant woman because she's supporting the life and nutritional needs of her baby.

Thus, a doctor may suggest a pregnant woman take prenatal multivitamins that provide a wide array of vitamins designed to deliver the nutrients needed by the woman and the baby.

Regular use of a prenatal multivitamin can help decrease the risk of numerous congenital anomalies in the baby, according to an August 2006 meta-analysis published in the "Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada," a peer-reviewed medical journal that focuses on women's health, obstetrics, and gynecology. The meta-analysis analyzed the results of 41 studies.

Improved Cognitive Functioning
As people age, their cognitive functioning may decrease. A May 2007 medical research study published in "Nutrition Journal" analyzed 910 women and men ages 65 or older.

The study found that the use of a multivitamin helped reduce the risk of micronutrient deficiencies and also contributed to improving cognitive functioning in some of the group's subsets, including those ages 75 and older.

Improved Energy
Multivitamins contain several vitamins, such as B-complex vitamins and vitamin C, that may contribute to improving your body's energy.

Arizona State University's wellness office suggests students take a daily multivitamin for improved energy and a better physical response to the various stress factors encountered in college life.

Is Multivitamin Tablets Good For Health

Put simply; a multivitamin is a nutritional supplement that includes a combination of vitamins, and often minerals. Vitamins are good for you, right? So it should be a no-brainer: why not take a multivitamin.

Is Multivitamin Tablets Good For Health

The hitch is that there is no standard or regulatory definition for multivitamins, meaning that the composition and quality can vary significantly from product to product.

Originally designed to protect against micronutrient deficiencies resulting from inadequate dietary intake, multivitamins’ application has been broadened over time.

Now not only do you have vitamins to supplement nutrient deficiencies, but products with specialized formulas which purport to meet a variety of goals, including increased performance, aiding in weight loss, protecting against cancer and other illnesses, and improving longevity.

Can vitamins do all that, or is it just a big marketing game?

Multivitamin Summary: Key Takeaways
As this is a long article, here are the key takeaways so you can quickly reference them:

  • The long term health benefits and risks of multivitamins are inconclusive
  • If you do not have a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables, a multivitamin may be beneficial as nutritional insurance
  • A whole foods powder supplement is likely the best bet; my favorites are Lindberg Fruits & Greens+
  • If you don’t want to drink a powdered supplement, consider a purely whole foods multivitamin supplement by Megafood, or Garden of Life
  • While challenging, eating as much as ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day is ideal

Whole-Food Vitamins vs. Synthetic Vitamins
I like to break down multivitamins into two broad categories: whole-food derived (found in natural, whole foods) and synthetic (created in laboratories).

Without getting too technical, it is important to understand that just because something has been synthesized in a laboratory doesn’t necessarily mean it is not the same as what is found in nature.

However, it is often different – for instance, synthetic Vitamin E is structurally unique from that of natural Vitamin E.

With both types of the vitamin on the market, the argument against using synthetic – which include chemical distillates – is that they are not recognized and used by the body the same way vitamins from whole foods are.

In research on scurvy (a disease defined by a Vitamin C deficiency), for example, it was found that whole foods containing Vitamin C quickly eliminated the illness while ascorbic acid (the distillate) supplementation had little effect.

1 Whole food vitamins (in their highest quality form) contain the vitamin complexes as they exist in nature, and are theoretically recognized by the body as whole foods.

Vitamins Do Not Have To Be Tested Before Appearing On Store Shelves.

Although the FDA has established “current Good Manufacturing Practice” (cGMP) regulations (requiring that vitamin manufacturers evaluate their products by testing purity, strength, and composition), because vitamins are classified by the FDA as general food products under the category of dietary supplements, and no testing is required before the manufacturer brings a product vitamin to market.

The primary safety concern with multivitamins is toxicity from over ingestion of a vitamin, or mineral, leading to increased risk of illness.

For example, ingesting too much zinc interferes with copper and iron absorption. Since people do not need to consult a doctor before ingesting vitamins, you can potentially take vitamins that interact with one another in ways that can hurt, rather than help, your health.

Additionally, as with any nutritional supplement, there is a risk of impurities in the product, which can have severe consequences. For example, a contaminated batch of tryptophan from a particular manufacturer in Japan was linked to 37 deaths and 1500 cases of permanent disability.
Long Term Health Benefits of Multivitamins Are Inconclusive.

Diets high in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and a host of other medical conditions.

It’s hypothesized the high concentrations of antioxidants & fiber reduce inflammation and protect against chronic disease.

So, the natural progression from this is the belief that supplementing with isolated forms of the antioxidants and nutrients found in fruits and vegetables would confer the same benefits.

The research, however, on the benefits (and harms) of vitamin supplementation in the general population is inconsistent.

Supplementation of a nutrient confers health benefits if a person is deficient in that nutrient. That should be obvious, but that is not what this article is about.

The question we need to know the answer to is: will taking a multivitamin make us live longer or perform better?

The gold standard of research study design is a randomized, placebo controlled trial, in which subjects are divided into experimental and “control” groups, with the experimental group receiving a placebo, or an inactive substance, and the experimental group receiving the substance to be studied.

Last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of the first large scale, placebo controlled trial examining the long-term effects of multivitamin supplementation on cancer.

The researchers found an 8% decrease in total cancer incidence in men taking a multivitamin. However, other observational studies find no association between multivitamin use and lower cancer rates, and some even find evidence that supplemental intake of certain vitamins may increase the risk of certain cancers.

To further complicate matters, the few randomized controlled trials that have been done have produced conflicting results. Some show decreased cancer incidence, and others show no effect or elevated risks.

As far as improving performance, the research is also equivocal. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Clinical Nutrition shows no performance improvement in runners after three months of multivitamin supplementation.

Similarly, a study entitled “Chronic multivitamin-mineral supplementation does not enhance physical performance” concluded just that.

A study from 2006 in Research and Sports concluded that a liquid multivitamin supplement did not affect “Anaerobic Exercise Performance” in people consuming an adequate diet.

Herein lie the problem and its resulting million dollar questions: What is an adequate diet and does the definition change depending on exercise habits and goals?

Multivitamin Recommendations
The research on multivitamins lacks overall, and even the research that has been done shows conflicting results.

So what are we to do?

Ideally, an individual should strive to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (10+ servings) every day. Few people would disagree that this is the best way to get nutrients, improve energy and performance, and guard against disease.

There is certainly a synergistic health effect from the contents of fruit and vegetables (both the things we know about and probably things we don’t know about), as nature’s design is most likely the best.

The problem lies in executing this type of plan over the long run.

This is particularly the case for people who are trying to restrict calories to lose body fat, as ten pieces of fruit would provide about 1000 calories per day.

So what is the next best thing to eating that much produce? The makers of Centrum will say that taking a Centrum a day is the best alternative.

Companies that sell whole food vitamin supplements will tell you that taking Centrum will do more harm than good, as the body doesn’t recognize and utilize synthetic vitamins the same way it does natural micronutrients. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer provided by research.

If eating 10+ servings of fruit and vegetables per day is not feasible for you, the next best thing is a product that most closely approximates it, namely, a “super greens and reds powder,” which is essentially fruit and vegetables concentrated down into a powder to be taken daily.

This bypasses the issue of the poor use of isolated nutrients and the idea that nutrients in real food exist in combinations impossible to replicate in a lab. There are many of them out there, but Lindberg Fruits & Greens+ is my choice.

If using a super foods powder is not feasible, the next best thing is a whole food multivitamin. It is very important to scrutinize the label of whatever product you’re thinking about buying, as often products label “whole food multivitamins” are synthetic compounds combined with yeast (a whole food).

Megafood, makes a good product, as does Garden of Life.

I recommend against the routine use of traditional multivitamins unless you are part of a special population that research has shown to benefit from them. Still, if you are a hard training athlete, or are at risk for deficiencies due to restricted nutritional plans, you will likely derive more benefit from supplementation with traditional products than none at all.

It is, however, a much better idea to use a preparation that more closely mimics eating real food.

In conclusion, there are no clear answers, and in the end, the decision to supplement with multivitamins needs to be tailored to the situation of each.

For most of the population, and especially athletes and people looking to improve body composition, a whole food derived nutrition supplement is a solid bet.

Are One A Day Vitamins Good For You

One-a-day multivitamins are composed of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's daily-recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal human health.

Are One A Day Vitamins Good For You

The varieties and combinations of one-a-day vitamins available on the market boggle the mind. Consumers armed with the facts on the types of multivitamins, contents, benefits and their side effects can make an informed and healthier choice.

Types
Many manufacturers produce vitamin supplements called “One-A-Day” that claim to have 100 percent or more of the USDA’s RDA of essential vitamins. Multivitamin products vary in their content, and it is up to the consumer to consult the product label for the specific vitamin combinations.

The one-a-day multivitamin category has subtypes, such as one-a-day stress multivitamins with extra quantities of B vitamins, antioxidant combinations, mineral combinations and even some without minerals, according to the International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements, also referred to as IBIDS.

The IBIDS found 1,246 different brands of one-a-day vitamins with a variety of combinations.

Benefits
One-a-day multivitamin use is especially helpful for people with specific vitamin deficiencies who cannot get the proper amount of vitamins in their diet.

Women’s nutritional needs change as they age. Multivitamin supplements that contain extra calcium, vitamin D, zinc, vitamins B, C, A, and E have shown beneficial results in women during menopause, premenstrual syndrome and at various stages of their life, according to the June 2007 issue of “Pharmacy Times.”

Pregnant and breastfeeding women can benefit from the extra iron in multivitamins. A double-blind controlled study by A.E. Czeizel published in the March 1996 issue of the “American Journal of Medical Genetics” studied the preventive effects of multivitamin supplementation on pregnant women.

The study found multivitamin use by pregnant women significantly reduced the number of urinary tract abnormalities, obstructive defects and the number of cardiovascular malformations.

Nutritional experts disagree on whether one-a-day vitamins are necessary for children. Many foods made for children such as breakfast cereals, juices, milk and other common snacks are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Consult your pediatrician or other health care provider if you are concerned about your child getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals.

Some children at risk for vitamin deficiencies include children with eating disorders, those who do not get a balanced diet, have chronic diseases or are on a vegan diet.

Misconceptions
Taking a multivitamin is not a replacement for eating a well-balanced diet. The rated amounts of the different vitamins in a one-a-day formula are not what the body may absorb.

The amount the body absorbs of these nutrients is called bioavailability. Each vitamin in a multivitamin has a different bioavailability according to many factors including the form of the multivitamin, other chemicals included with the vitamin, concentration of raw food particles that may bind to some nutrients and intestinal transit time, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Warnings
Certain vitamins and minerals can interact with medications or physical conditions. Megadoses of vitamins and minerals can be toxic to children and adults.

Different prescription drugs can also have interactions with vitamins and minerals. Always consult your physician or health care provider before taking a one-a-day vitamin.

Vitamin Supplements Good Or Bad?

Almost one in three people in the UK take vitamin supplements every day, according to the Food Standards Authority, while 15 per cent of us turn to high-dose supplements for a quick fix.

Vitamin Supplements Good Or Bad

But do vitamin pills deliver the health and vitality they promise?

Supplements are taken as a 'health insurance' to boost energy, slow down the effects of aging and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

They have become big business in the process.
Of $309 million spent on supplements in 2009, we popped $139 million in multivitamin pills and guzzled a whopping $36 million in immune-boosting vitamin C.

Warning
We do need vitamins, but more is not necessarily better.
Mega doses of single vitamins can have toxic effects.
Particular care is needed when taking fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A.
Stored in the liver, it can accumulate to reach toxic levels and cause liver damage.

Why take vitamins?
Present in low levels in our bodies, but essential to every aspect of our health, vitamins are substances our bodies cannot make. Therefore, they must be obtained through diet.

Vitamins perform key functions:

  • Vitamin C builds immunity and connective tissue.
  • Vitamin A enhances immunity and helps growth.
  • B-vitamins are essential for energy.
  • Vitamin D strengthens bones.

We would die without vitamins and fall seriously ill when we don't get the right amount.

While a balanced diet should provide our complete vitamin quota, nutritionists argue that modern life often leaves us depleted.

Intensive agriculture, fast-growth crops, and food processing means our food is significantly lower in minerals and vitamins than it used to be.

Meanwhile, high-speed lifestyles leave many people gulping down pre-made meals and grabbing a coffee – not a recipe for nutritional balance.

'In the ideal world, people would eat home cooked meals with fresh ingredients made from whole foods,' says Amelia Freer, a nutritionist at Freer Nutrition in West London. 'Reality falls far short of this.'
Drinks like black tea and coffee can reduce mineral absorption while fizzy drinks and sugar contain almost no vitamins.

Chronic stress also depletes vitamin supply. 'Cortisol, the hormone released during stress, uses up B-vitamins and vitamin C and in the long term can burn you out while draining your body of vitamins,' says Freer.

Vitamin pills versus food
To make up the vitamin shortfall, a multivitamin may seem like the obvious answer.
The fact is that the health benefits of vitamin pills are increasingly being brought into question.

While some studies show that vitamin supplementations have a range of benefits from enhanced energy to better fertility, others suggest supplements are harmful.

In 2011, the Iowa Women's Health Study of over 38,000 women found the use of multivitamins was associated with a 2.4 per cent increased risk of death.

Despite being labeled 'natural', over 90 per cent of vitamin supplements on sale are synthetic.
New evidence is emerging that these unnatural forms of the vitamin could do more harm than good.

According to the Organic Consumers Association in the USA, human-made vitamins cannot be used by the body in the same way as original versions.

'In nature, vitamins come packaged with many other molecules including minerals and cofactors,' explains Dr. Phillip Maffetone, nutritional researcher and author of 'The Big Book of Health and Fitness.'

'These enable the body to use them. Since synthetic vitamins are isolated and are not recognized by the body, they are often excreted in urine or stored in fat.'

Also, synthetic vitamins may produce harmful side-effects. The synthetic version of vitamin A, retinol palmitate, for example, is significantly more toxic than the natural form.

In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008, adults taking 1000mg of synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid) each day developed problems with energy metabolism.

What are the best ways of getting vitamins?
‘A varied diet including fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, meat, fish pulses and eggs should contain enough vitamins for health,' says Helena Gibson-Moore of the British Nutrition Foundation.

If your diet falls short of this, or you are busy, stressed, pregnant or breastfeeding or are struggling with illness, consider taking a supplement but make sure it is non-synthetic and food grade.

Super dietary supplements from nutrient-rich natural sources provide a range of vitamins in their natural form, which is easy for the body to absorb.

For an all-round nutritional boost, Amelia Freer recommends supplementing daily with spirulina, chlorella or bee pollen. Fish or plant oil supplements are an excellent source of health-boosting fats.

When to pop vitamin pills

  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should take a multivitamin.
  • Women trying to conceive or those in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy should supplement with a multivitamin containing folic acid.
  • Vitamin D supplementation is recommended for darker skinned people and those over 65.
  • The Department of Health advises children aged six months to 5 years to supplement with vitamins A, C, and D.
  • People who are malnourished due to digestive difficulties or chronic illness.
  • During intense physical training for sport.

Getting the balance right
Supplements can be helpful and health-enhancing or harmful and a waste of money.

It all depends on what you take, how natural it is and whether your body can absorb it.

There's a lot to be said for ditching cheap supplements and splashing out on a carefully prepared gourmet meal at a good restaurant instead.

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