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Are vitamins and minerals supplement necessary?

Vital for a healthy life. Eating a wide variety of food is a suitable way to gain adequate vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins and minerals are vital for a healthy life. Eating a wide variety of food is a suitable way to gain adequate vitamins and minerals. Foods contain essential nutrients and substances which are usually not included in the dietary supplements. Those nutrients can prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease. 

Multivitamins are not for everyone, and may even harm some individuals.  Depending on your condition, a vitamin and mineral supplement can be a befitting alternative for your wellness.  Multivitamins are recommended for women of child bearing age. Supplemental folic acids taken before or during pregnancy are helpful to prevent neural tube defects in babies.  Older adults, vegans, vegetarians may benefit from vitamin B12 supplementation as absorption decrease with age, or is not found in plant-based food.

A daily multivitamin or dietary supplement intake is, however, widely practiced without clear indication and proven benefits in most people.

Tips for supplement intake:

  1. Do not overuse. You should not take vitamin and mineral supplements more than the amount that your body needs as the excess may cause toxicity. A supplement with 100 percent of the recommended daily intake is adequate unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  2. Avoid extras. It is not necessary to purchase supplements with extra ingredients such as herbs, enzymes, amino acid, etc.
  3. Check the expiry date. Expired or old vitamin and mineral supplements are not as effective as new ones.
  4. Seek medical advice. You should consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.




Article by
Dr Prapaporn Phimphilai
Internal Medicine
Doctor profile