Vitamin Supplements 101: Benefits, Dosage and Side Effects
Our body needs a host of vitamins and minerals to function properly. We have learned about the wide range of vitamins and minerals and their uses in school. We all know the importance of having a balanced diet, full of natural vitamins!
But how many of us ensure that we get them all?
Either we are too ignorant to care or our current lifestyles do not allow us enough time to provide our body with all the basics that it needs.
However, it is ideal to get all your vitamins from your kitchen, but in reality, it is tough to do so! And we do understand this challenge.
That's where vitamin supplements come into the picture.
What are multivitamins?
Multivitamins are a combination of different vitamins and minerals present in food sources. Multivitamin supplements may contain other ingredients like herbs, amino acids, and fatty acids. They act as a one-stop-shop solution to our everyday nutritional needs.
Should we all take a multivitamin?
At this point, we would also like to point out that the current lifestyle surrounded by fast food and the increasing amounts of toxins in the environment has slowed down our bodies. On top of that our diet, being a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian or a vegan - all of the diets have something lacking in them that a vitamin supplement can fulfil.
Hence, including a vitamin supplement can help meet your daily vitamin goals and keep many deficiency-related problems at a distance. They help fill the gap between our bodies' nutritional needs and consumption.
While some essential multivitamins are suitable for all, you can also find speciality supplements to treat specific problems these days. On top of that, your health and lifestyle decisions also factor in when choosing a multivitamin. For example, pregnant & breastfeeding women have specific vitamin needs that can be taken care of by particular supplements (like folate supplements). Similarly, older people need some speciality vitamins to take care of their bodies.
Here are some of the benefits of including multivitamin supplements in your diet:
- Boost energy levels
Your body feels weak and lethargic if it doesn't get enough nutrition. A regular dose of the multivitamin capsules (as per your doctor's advice) can help you regain your energy. When accompanied by a healthy lifestyle, multivitamins can keep you energetic and fit.
- Enhances immunity
As you know that your immune system is responsible for fighting off infections or allergies and helps recover from any disease, it is essential to keep it up and running! There are certain vitamins like Vit C, E and D that boost the immune system.
- Promote muscle strength
Free radicals in the body are dangerous as they are mainly responsible for muscle ageing-related problems. These free radicals can be destroyed by antioxidants, which are present in multivitamin capsules. Therefore, taking multivitamins can help keep these damaging free radicals in check.
- Reduce stress and depression
Undernourished bodies cannot process vitamins, impacting your mental health as well. Including vitamins like Vit B stimulates your nervous system to produce the stress hormone to reduce stress. and improves brain function responsible for your mood.
- Improves brain function
While your body can consume many vitamins naturally, some vitamins are difficult in your usual diet. For example, Vit B12. This is especially true for vegans and vegetarians, as some of the nutrients our bodies need only come from animal products. Vit B12 is quite effective in increasing memory and ensuring proper brain functioning.
- Beneficial for skin
Your skin needs a proper amount of vitamins and minerals to glow. Vit C and E are quite effective in maintaining healthy skin. They help to retain the natural oil inside your skin and prevent dryness. Antioxidants also play an active role in boosting your skin's health. You can get in touch with your doctor and get speciality vitamins that help in promoting skin health.
- Good for hair
Hairfall, dandruff or any other hair problem - multivitamins can help you deal with them. Vitamins like B, C and E, along with some minerals, are essential for the healthy growth of hair.
Are there any side effects of using multivitamins?
Well.. you need to understand that they are not magic pills. They are not a shortcut to preventing any chronic diseases. No amount of multivitamins can replace a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. It is crucial to identify what your body needs and provide it with exactly that. You must consult your doctor before popping any multivitamins. Especially when it comes to speciality supplements, do not self-prescribe. As this might do you more harm than good.
This is because while the deficiency of vitamins and minerals can lead to various health issues, an overdose of vitamins and minerals can also cause problems. For example, deficiency of Vit D can lead to weak bone health, and an overdose of the same can lead to anorexia, nausea, and hypertension.
The point is to make an informed decision before taking any multivitamin supplement.