Can you benefit from taking vitamin and mineral supplements ?
There are some select groups that are more likely to use and benefit from using vitamin and mineral supplements. If you fall into one of the following groups of individuals you may want to consider taking a supplement:
Vitamin and mineral supplements for people physically active
Exercise can have two detrimental effects on the body. First, the increased oxygen use by working muscles increases the amount of reactive forms of oxygen known as free-radicals. A growing amount of evidence indicates that free radicals cause skeletal muscle damage and inflammation during exercise. People who exercise frequently and intensely should ensure that their consumption of antioxidants is sufficient to reduce recovery time. This may be done with generous servings of fruits and vegetables or with vitamin and mineral supplements. To prevent cell damage from free-radicals, antioxidants act by "mopping" them up. The traditional dietary antioxidants that inhibit free-radical damage are:
Vitamin E, Alpha tocopherol or tocopherol
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid
Vitamin A, Beta carotene or carotenoids
Vitamin and mineral supplements for people wishing to lose weight
Where does the body fat come from?
OK, so where does the fat on your body come from and what exactly is it?. Body fat is primarily triglycerides, that same substance which is responsible for a high percentage of heart attacks and strokes. The bulk of it is manufactured by the liver!
All right, now lets fast rewind back to what triggers off the production of fat by the liver. To follow this next stage we have to go back to the food you ingest. This is what happens in simple terms.
When you eat food the sugars present in carbohydrates are converted to glucose. The pancreas releases insulin which transports the glucose to the cells where it is burnt for energy. But the cells can only accept so much glucose and what is not needed is taken back to the liver for further processing.
The liver then converts the excess glucose into glycogen which is then transported to the muscles for reserve energy with any excess being stored by the liver. However, the storage capacity is limited. The lower your lean body mass is the more limited the storage capability. Any excess glycogen is then further processed by the liver into…guess what? Triglycerides which is fat! This fat is then sent on its way via the blood stream to be stored in places where there are no storage limitations…stomach, buttocks, thighs etc, etc.
Why are vitamin and mineral supplements the solution ?
Excess weight and overall health are intertwined. Bad health and obesity are caused by nutrient deficiencies. Decreased nutritional value of food is having a significant impact on disease and obesity. This creates problems in various organs and neurotransmitters which lead to obesity. This is a 'creeping' problem that has been going on for the last 50 years thanks to modern farming methods and the 'processing' of foods. Vitamin and mineral supplements are crucial to restore nutrient deficiencies (which are present in most people) and which cause unnatural food cravings.
More information on how good health and vitamin and mineral supplements can help you lose weight safely and permanently
Vitamin and mineral supplements for Older Adults (65+)
Older adults (65+) are at an increased risk for poor nutrition. With age, there is a reduction in lean body mass which reduces the body's energy requirements. Older adults eat less total food. Appetite may be decreased due to reduced taste and smell sensitivity. Drug side effects can also reduce appetite and reduce absorption and metabolism of vitamins and minerals.
Some nutrient requirements increase with age, especially calcium, vitamin E, vitamin D, riboflavins, folate, vitamin B12 and protein.
Undernutrition in older adults can lead to loss of muscle protein and deficiencies of vitamins B-6, B-12, D and E as well as calcium, folate and magnesium. These nutritional inadequacies can lead to lethargy and weakness, reduced bone density leading to weak, brittle bones and painful disabling fractures, nervous system dysfunction, delayed wound healing and inability to carry out normal activities of daily living.
An adequate and balanced diet is without a doubt the best way to ensure adequate nutrition. However, much scientific evidence suggests that complementing the diet with a daily vitamin and mineral supplements is a sensible precaution to help avoid nutrient deficiencies that are common in older adults.
In addition, look for vitamin and mineral supplements that has no more than 100% of the daily recommended intake for vitamin A and Iron. With age, vitamin A is absorbed and retained more efficiently. The potential for vitamin A toxicity is therefore greater than at a younger age. Vitamin A toxicity is a serious matter, leading to such health problems as headache, vomiting, bone abnormalities, and liver damage. Iron needs of older adults are low, and excess iron increases the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
Many vitamin and mineral supplements are aimed at the older adult. Read the labels and decide with the above warnings in mind. The most efficient types are based on a correct and synergistic combination of several quality ingredients. The result is much more efficient than the sum of individual nutrients.
If you are currently taking any medication, be sure to discuss with your physician what vitamin and mineral supplements you can take. Many drugs interact with dietary supplements. Some supplements can prevent drugs from working. Other supplements can intensify drug effects to dangerous levels.
Vitamin and mineral supplements for pregnant or planning on getting pregnant women
Pregnant women must consider both their own requirements and the requirements of the baby. Vitamin and mineral supplements are needed during pregnancy for the maintenance of the mother's health, to support the developing infant's growth, and to help prevent developmental defects.
Supplements to Consider:
Folic Acid: Scientific studies show that the risk of recurrent neural-tube defects is decreased in women who take folic acid before conception and during the first 6 weeks of pregnancy. Standard vitamin and mineral supplements will provide adequate folate to reduce the risk of this birth defect.
Iron: During pregnancy, iron stores become low due to increased iron need for the fetus. The need is particularly great during the last trimester.
Zinc: Zinc supplementation significantly reduces the incidence of low birth-weight babies. In addition, most measurements of labor and fetal health were better in women who took modest zinc supplements.
Calcium: Calcium and phosphorus are vital to the structure of bones and teeth. In the last trimester of pregnancy, skeletal growth is highest and the fetus draws calcium directly from the mother's stores. In addition, clinical trials have shown that adequate calcium during pregnancy lowers blood pressure and may reduce the incidence of premature births.
Appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended for pregnant women who do not ordinarily consume an adequate diet and for women in high-risk categories, such as multifetal gestation, cigarette smokers, and alcohol and drug abusers.
During pregnancy, some women can especially benefit from certain nutrients. In general, these would all be contained in a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements.
Those requiring vitamin and mineral supplements in addition to a prenatal supplement include :
vegetarians may need supplemental vitamin B12 and zinc.
Women carrying twins, taking seizure medication, or who have sickle cell anemia could benefit from additional folate.
Women who do not use dairy products and/or do not get enough sunlight would benefit from additional vitamin D.
Vitamin and mineral supplements for Vegetarians
Any restriction in the foods one would eat holds the potential for dietary inadequacies. It is through eating a wide variety of foods that we are assured of getting the wide range of nutrients humans need for good health. Dietary studies have often found that vegetarians, especially vegans, consume some vitamins and minerals at less than recommended amounts. A well-chosen vegetarian diet, on the other hand, can be entirely adequate, obviating the need for vitamin and mineral supplements.
Although those avoiding all animal flesh (fish, chicken and red meats) yet consuming dairy products and eggs have no obvious need for dietary supplements, those avoiding all meats but also abstaining from all animal products such as eggs and dairy products are a different story. At least one study has concluded that these people vegans need to increase their intake of vitamin B12, riboflavin and possibly even iodine, iron and zinc.
Our personal recommendation for effective and balanced vitamin and mineral supplements
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