At almost any doctor’s appointment, you will be prescribed vitamins. However, the benefits of tableted vitamins and minerals are debatable. Let’s try to figure out a little how not to harm ourselves with these cute colored pills.
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Patrick Holford, author of books on healthy eating
On the one hand, it is believed that a lack of vitamins and minerals can lead to vitamin deficiency and cause several diseases – from colds to cancer. On the other hand, studies have regularly published that show that vitamins are not a panacea. Even the popular belief that vitamin C is effective against colds is controversial.
Simultaneously, it isn’t easy to close our eyes because corporations benefit from the popularization of vitamin preparations. And what is left for an ordinary person when a specialist in a white coat writes something illegible on a ticket, claiming that this will help improve his well-being?
Read also: 5 Reasons To Eat More Vitamin C Foods
True, you can hear many positive reviews about taking such drugs, even from your friends. But there are a few things to consider to at least not harm yourself.
1. Assess if you are at risk
If you are lucky enough to get enough sleep every day, eat a variety of only the freshest and highest quality products, be in the fresh air and the sun, then chase everyone who recommends you to change something in your life.
But it is more likely that you are not one of those. Most people today are still not able to pay enough attention to their diet. Perhaps you want to lose weight. No matter how much we tell you about a balanced diet, you will avoid fat and bread if you fit into smaller jeans.
2. Determine what you really lack
If you decide on your own to determine what vitamins and trace elements you lack, you will have to study the issue in detail. The widespread opinion that vitamin A is needed for good vision, ascorbic acid will save from colds, and calcium will provide bones and teeth’ strength very superficially.
You can sort out the question in one of two ways.
- To study the symptoms of a lack of vitamins and trace elements in the body. This will give you a more accurate picture of your condition.
- Passing the analysis – this way is easier and faster.
3. Analyze your diet
You should not simultaneously lean on foods rich in essential minerals and take medications. For example, 100 grams of hard cheese already contains half the daily value of calcium. Beef liver covers the recommended daily dosage of vitamin A with 30 grams. 200 grams of broccoli contains 2-3 times the daily requirement of vitamin C. But to get the daily requirement of vitamin B6, you will have to eat about 200 grams of walnuts (more than 1,300 kcal) or 400 g of millet (more than 1,500 kcal), or chicken (more than 800 kcal).
4. Understand a little biochemistry
Bear in mind that vitamins are fat-soluble and water-soluble. The former include A, D, E, and K, the latter – the rest. It is also important to understand that micronutrients are absorbed from salts. As a rule, the administration method indicated in the drug’s instructions on an empty stomach, during or after meals, with water ensures effective absorption. In food, this works when you add sour cream to the carrots; without fat, vitamin A will pass you by.
To assimilate some trace elements, vitamins are needed; for calcium – D, for iron – C, for magnesium – B6, and so on. Therefore, if you eat a lot of cottage cheese, but calcium is still not enough for you, you may not have enough vitamin D.
However, it is important to take into account that, for example, vitamins A, D, E, B 12 can accumulate in the body. Simultaneously, high dosages of minerals that do not accumulate in the body are not so dangerous. Therefore, do not be alarmed if the drug contains 200-300% of the recommended rate. Some manufacturers thus compensate for the poor absorption of substances.
But you need to be careful when leaning on trace elements. Excessive use of one of them can lead to a decrease in the absorption of the other. For example, calcium reduces the absorption of magnesium and iron, and zinc – calcium.
Also read: Heat Treatment Destroys Vitamins In Vegetables: Truth Or Myth
5. Don’t skimp on your health
At some point, a “kind” person published a list of cheap analogs of popular drugs on the Internet. This list became mega-popular among the masses, and consumers decided that now “evil” corporations would not fool them. But don’t jump to conclusions.
There is a much deeper level in chemistry than the trade name of a substance. If the same word is indicated in the composition of the drug, this does not mean that the substances are identical. The method of production, raw materials, purity matters – these data are not on the packaging.
In the case of preparations containing the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, the price can play a decisive role. You’ve probably heard that some vitamins and minerals are not absorbed when taken simultaneously. The manufacturers solved this problem by creating tablets in which the components are layered (try cutting the tablet). This naturally complicates the production process and increases the cost of the final product. It is not a fact that a low analog price has not been reduced by simplifying production.
You may try adding a couple of drugs to your diet if you feel that you are missing something and evaluate the effect yourself. However, you should not treat them like sweets, as was customary in the Soviet Union with yellow balls or ascorbic acid.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff
Sources: Life hacker