Are you wondering what vitamins you should take? Nutritionists recommend seven essential ingredients for a multivitamin, and understanding the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of each vitamin is key to maintaining good health. Vitamin A, for example, is important for red blood cell growth and bone health, and the RDA is 5000 international units (IU). Dietary sources of Vitamin A include fish, liver, and eggs. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is important for bone health, and magnesium is an essential nutrient that must be obtained from food or supplements.
Macrominerals are minerals that the body needs in large quantities, such as calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur. Trace elements are minerals that the body needs in small amounts, such as iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluorine, molybdenum, manganese and selenium. Most people don't need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need if they follow a healthy diet. However, some people may need supplements to reach the recommended daily allowance.
Children ages 6 months to 5 years old should take vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C, and D every day. Because it's difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the fall and winter. When choosing a multivitamin supplement, be aware of the dosage of each ingredient. Many products on the market contain “overdoses” of vitamin B12 labeled as energy-boosting supplements.
Also be wary of vitamins that contain extras such as herbs and botanicals which are often lacking in research on long-term effects and potential adverse effects. If you've been vegan for a few years or are taking certain anticoagulants, you may need to check your levels of vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D. In general, multivitamins try to provide most vitamins at a level close to the recommended daily dose of each ingredient. However it's important to remember that everyone's needs are different and that the amount of each vitamin may vary from person to person depending on many factors.
To ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need for optimal health, consult with your doctor or nutritionist.