Most people across the world take some form of vitamin supplement along with their daily diets. According to certain studies, if a diet is correct, there is usually no requirement for taking vitamin supplements. However, these supplements are a sure shot way of getting the necessary vitamins that you need to remain healthy. These supplements are especially helpful if you have some form of vitamin deficiency, or if you are suffering from something that requires extra doses of these vitamins, such as treatment for cancer. Despite all their usefulness, however, it is not a good idea to overdose on vitamin supplements. Like everything else, it does you no good if there is too much of a particular vitamin in your system.
Positive effects of vitamin supplements:
To begin with, let us look at how vitamin supplements help us.
Beneficial for children
Vitamin supplements are especially beneficial to children, since they can be quite fussy eaters. However, children need a regular and balanced intake of vitamins to ensure that they grow up healthy with little health complications. But children tend to not want to eat the very items that provide them with most of the necessary nutrients, aka vegetables and fruits. Besides, most children are extremely active, which means that they burn up any calorie and nutrients that the get in a jiffy with all that running about. A good way of ensuring that they get those necessary nutrients is to give them vitamin supplements on a regular basis. Vitamins A, D, and C are especially beneficial for a growing child as they help in cognitive development, tissue repair, and bone and muscle development. Do keep in mind, however, that giving extra vitamins when your child already enjoys their food and has a healthy appetite for everything on the plate will have negative consequences.
Vitamin supplements are also extremely beneficial for pregnant women, and other people with weakened immunities. While we get most of the required vitamins from food, some of them need to come from vitamins. This is especially true for people with compromised immunity, such as pregnant women, young children, older adults, and people suffering from serious illnesses. A weakened immunity is more susceptible to attacks by germs, and it is necessary that you take the supplements that will help you keep your strengths up.
Treating health conditions
Certain types of vitamins also cater to certain health conditions. For instance, pregnant women need to take a lot of folic acid as it helps in the healthy development of the baby. Folic acid helps in regulating the neural development of the baby, and prevents chances of development of congenital spinal disorders. Similarly, if you are a smoker, you should consider taking supplements of Vitamins D and C, since smoking inhibits the absorption of these vitamins.
Negative effects of vitamin supplements:
However, there are also certain side effects of these supplements.
It is important to keep in mind that for certain people, the intake of vitamins needs to be restricted. This is particularly true if you are taking certain medications, as some types of vitamins may interact with these medications to create adverse effects. For example, Vitamin E and K supplements are a strict no-no for people who take blood thinning medications, and they should also take care to not take too much of these vitamins from food. Similarly, vitamin A can lead to potential complications in pregnancies, along with birth defects in the fetus. If you are a smoker, avoid taking too much of antioxidants such as beta carotene.
Excessive intake of vitamins can also lead to toxicity. This is not a very major risk factor, since most vitamins are water soluble, and taking too much of these will simply cause your body to excrete the excess amount that it cannot absorb. However, certain vitamins, like A, C, B6, and D are fat soluble, which means that they will not get excreted, but stay stored in the body if taken n excess amounts. Vitamin toxicity can lead to a host of problems, such as mild issues like nausea, headaches, dizziness, flushing, and digestive issues. They can also lead to more severe issues such as kidney stones, confusion, and irregular heartbeat. Similarly, although pregnant women are required to take folates, high amounts pose the risk of masking deficiency of other vitamins without substituting their benefits.
Intake of vitamins must be well regulated. Apart from taking them in regular and balanced doses, the method must be correct as well. Vitamin pills should only be taken with room temperature water, and not with hot or chilled water. Also, you should only take pills with water since any other beverage will interfere with its effects, meaning that the vitamins will simply be flushed out of your body without being absorbed at all. It is also important to make sure that you consult your physician and get the recommended dose if you have health complications or are undergoing serious treatment.