Fortify Your Knowledge About Vitamins (Consumer Update)

Fortify Your Knowledge About Vitamins (Consumer Update)


This “Consumer Update” is
brought to you by the U.S. Food & Drug
Administration. Vitamins are essential
nutrients that contribute to a healthy life. Although most people get
all the vitamins they need from the foods they
eat, millions of people worldwide take
supplemental vitamins as part of their
health regimen. The body uses vitamins for
several important functions, including growth, metabolism, nerve function. There are 13 known essential
vitamins. That includes vitamins A, D, E, and K,
vitamin C, and the B vitamins. There are many
good reasons to consider taking
vitamin supplements. A doctor may recommend
that you take them for certain situations, for
example if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet,
or if you are planning for pregnancy or are pregnant
or breastfeeding. Supplements can be useful
when they fulfill a specific identified nutrient need
that can’t be met by food or is not being met through normal food intake. But it’s really important
to remember that supplements can’t displace
a healthful diet. That’s the important
nutritional strategy. Develop a “vitamin
strategy” that ensures sufficient vitamin intake. If you choose to
take supplements, consider these tips
before buying one: Think twice about chasing
the latest headlines and be wary of a “quick fix”; Take only the
recommended amounts. Some products can be
harmful when consumed in high amounts, or for a
long time or with certain other substances; Learn to spot
false claims. If something is too
good to be true, it probably is. For more on this and
other health topics, visit FDA.GOV/CONSUMER.

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