Monday, November 22, 2010

When to Take Vitamins

Most of the time healthy people get enough vitamins in the foods they consume and there is no need for any type of supplements. However, there are some times which may require an otherwise healthy person to begin taking vitamins. In addition, there are some illnesses and disorders that can cause a person to become deficient in one or several essential vitamins and minerals. The following will outline some of the reasons a person may be advised to take vitamin supplements.

During Pregnancy

When a woman becomes pregnant, her nutritional needs double or even triple. Because it may not be good enough for her to simply eat more of the foods which contain essentials, most OB/GYN doctors prescribe some form of prenatal vitamins. In some cases there will be extra iron added if a woman shows a potential toward anemia. In addition, many pregnant women find that their hair and nails become healthier and stronger as a result of taking prenatal vitamins, so there is definitely an added perk.


People who are limiting their food intake for the purpose of shedding pounds are often told to take vitamins. Not only is this because of the fact that they may be losing essentials due to a smaller amount of food but also because certain vitamins are known to help with food cravings. If a person becomes deficient in certain vitamins and minerals the result can be over eating and an over active sense of hunger. Taking vitamins will ensure the diet is not compromised, nor the health of the dieter.

Babies and Children

Because children grow at such a phenomenal rate, their bodies need much more vitamins and minerals in order for them to develop strong bones and have healthy teeth. Most pediatricians advise administering some form of vitamin supplement during the developmental and growth years. Typically until the child reaches well into his/her teens, a vitamin supplement will be recommended. In some cases, even teens are given supplements, especially those with poor eating habits. Of course, not many teens have the best eating habits so vitamins are certainly a wise choice.

Immune System Disorders

People who suffer from HIV/AIDS or some other form of immune deficiency are commonly urged to take vitamin supplements, most especially vitamin C as it helps keep the body’s immunity strong. Not only are these people told to take vitamin supplements in tablet form but many times they receive daily or weekly vitamin shots. There have been a lot of studies to suggest that taking additional vitamins can be very helpful in people suffering from problems which involved their immune systems.

Cardio Vascular Conditions/Heart Disease

There has been a lot of research into the link between heart disease and vitamin deficiency over the past several decades. Potassium plays a major role in heart health as well as a wealth of other vitamins and minerals that aid in the absorption of potassium. A person who has some sort of heart condition may be given daily vitamin supplements to help prevent further damage to the heart and vessels. A good combination of cardio exercise and vitamins may help a person with heart problems live a longer and healthier life.

What Time of Day to Take Vitamins

Each class of vitamins is different in the way it is absorbed into the body. For example, some vitamins are fat soluble and should be taken with meals, while others are water soluble and can be taken at anytime. It is important to do your homework where your vitamins are concerned to find out what class they fall into. Some of the more common vitamins that are fat soluble are vitamins D, A, E and K. Vitamins C and B are considered water soluble. If you are taking a large number of vitamins each day, you may want to try and space them out a bit as they may not absorb to their full potential when taken at the same time. In addition, it is important to remember that taking vitamins which are meant to be taken on a full stomach, on an empty stomach, can result in severe stomach upset.

Not All Supplements Are Created Equally

Make sure you consult a nutritionist before running out to the drug store to purchase a bunch of vitamin supplements. Not only can taking too many vitamins be detrimental to your health but there are also some brands and varieties that are ineffective and useless. Make sure and ask about how much of each vitamin you should be taking, but also which brands are the most highly recommended in terms of quality. Remember, price is not always the deciding factor when it comes to vitamin supplements efficiency. In some cases the cheaper brands may actually be better than the "top shelf" brands.

Do not think for a minute that vitamin over dose cannot occur. While there are some vitamins that it would be almost impossible to take too much of, such as vitamin C and B, there are some that can be extremely toxic and lead to all sorts of issue such as organ damage, organ failure and even death. Use caution and always follow your doctor’s recommendations when taking any sort of vitamin supplements. If you begin to notice any ill effects while taking vitamin supplements, discontinue use and call your doctor right away. Remember, just because you think vitamins are healthy for you does not mean they cannot harm you if taken the wrong way.

Source: Health Guidance

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