It is possible to boost health and wellness with vitamin supplements if you keep an eye on your recommended daily allowance (RDA). It is possible to overdose on some vitamins, especially vitamin A if you are pregnant, but generally a once daily vitamin supplement does you a lot of good.
Many people suffer from one type of vitamin deficiency or another and that deficiency is determined by many different circumstances. It could be because you are on a diet that restricts your food choice so that your intake of nutrients is not what it should be. The human digestive system has been designed for an omnivorous diet, so those that eat meat and neglect their fruit and vegetable intake will ten to be deficient in some of the fat soluble vitamins.
Vegans will be deficient in those vitamins that are unobtainable from vegetables. A prime example is vitamin B12. However, there is nothing wrong with opting for one dietary regime or another if you are aware of the potential deficiencies, and make up for them with supplements.
Vitamin D deficiencies are particularly common, especially amongst those that get little exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is formed in the skin by the action of sunlight, and people who live in the higher latitudes in particular tend to suffer from deficiencies: much more so than residents of Florida or California! However, it is not just in vitamin D that many people are deficient.
Vitamins are essential to your body for proper health and fitness. Vitamins are chemicals that have been identified as being essential to human life, and without them you cannot survive. You can live with certain deficiencies, although much depends on the vitamin. Many are antioxidants, without which you will age quicker and suffer from many unpleasant conditions. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that are generated by both the body’s metabolism and environmental agents. Pollution such as smoking, traffic fumes and pesticides can generate free radicals, as can sunlight which is generally associated with good health; and Vitamin D of course.
Free radicals are compounds that possess unpaired electrons. Electrons normally travel in pairs, but occasionally a compound can lose one of its electrons and is rendered unstable. It immediately begins to look for a new mate, and a favorite source is from the cells of our bodies. In stealing electrons from body cells, free radicals destroy the cells and accelerate aging. They also oxidize the low density lipoproteins that taxi cholesterol around the blood, and cause it to deposit its cholesterol in our arteries creating a condition known as atherosclerosis.
This is a narrowing of the arteries through the arterial walls being thickened by the cholesterol, and in severe cases they can even become completely blocked. This is a very serious condition that near the heart can cause cardiac failure, and in the brain can cause a stroke. The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, therefore, are very important to us for this single property, let alone all the others that they possess that are also beneficial to our health.
It is important that your body is well supplied with all the vitamins it needs, especially the water soluble ones such as vitamin C that are not stored in the body. Vitamin supplements are a good way of maintaining a balanced daily vitamin intake. They affect every part of your body from healthy toenails to healthy hair on your head. They also affect your digestion, your blood and circulation system, the way your brain works, the development and maintenance of healthy bones, skin and muscle. In short, they are essential to just about every part and function of your body. Without them you would not exist.
People can generally boost their health with vitamin supplements, and even those that generally feel fit would likely benefit from a regular course of vitamins and minerals during the winter months. People are no longer subject to the forced seasonal depletion of certain vitamins and minerals due to the non-availability of certain fruits and vegetables in winter time, but a supplement will help them to survive the winter with fewer colds and other viral and bacterial infections.
There are some supplements, however, that should be taken with care under certain circumstances. Pregnant women in particular, while taking a good supply of folic acid, should avoid a vitamin A supplement that could harm the growing fetus. The same is true of liver that is very rich in vitamin A. Anybody suffering from a specific medical condition should seek their physician’s advice if taking or intending to take a supplement that involves them exceeding the RDA for any vitamin or mineral.
The body of evidence indicates that those eating a properly balanced diet with plenty fruit, vegetables and protein from both animal and vegetable sources, should not need any supplements. A balanced diet will provide you with all the vitamins you need, but most people do not eat a balanced diet, not only Americans but generally throughout the world.
The American diet tends to be rich in fats and low in fruit and vegetables, and it is certainly true that this type of diet is one that is usually used as an example when vitamin and mineral deficiencies are discussed. However, it is not only in America, since many other cultures are taking up the fast food solution to working parents that have little or no time to cook for their families. The result is a salt and sugar rich diet that is lacking in amino acids, antioxidants and the vitamins that are needed for general good health.
Apart from those diets made by choice, even if for understandable reasons, many people cannot eat a balanced diet, and others are on diets for weight loss that are restrictive in the range of foods that they eat. Women and children dressed from head to toe in black robes for religious reasons are prone to vitamin D deficiencies, their children being especially prone to rickets. All of these require vitamin supplements of one type or another. Supplementation can be taken as individual vitamins or as a mixture of various vitamins and minerals.
Whether you belong to one of these groups or not is immaterial: you can boost your health and wellness with vitamin supplements if you take them regularly, and combine your vitamin intake with the right amount of exercise for your age. All physicians are agreed that good health is a combination of nutrition and exercise.