Most people get all the vitamins that their body needs from their diet alone.  However, as a person gets older, the body may need some extra help. (Tramadol)    Most of us don’t spend too much time thinking about our taking vitamins levels and for the average person they could well be unnecessary.  But research studies do suggest that for some people vitamin supplements may be very helpful.

What are vitamins and taking vitamins important for our health?

In order for our bodies to develop and function well we need vitamins. For the majority of us the vitamins we need we get from the food we eat.  That means that for most people eating a good diet it will not be necessary to take vitamin supplements. A healthy diet is one that includes fruits and vegetables, a variety of proteins and whole grains.

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However, there may be times when it is necessary to take some form vitamin or mineral supplement.  If your diet is not well balanced or perhaps you have natural deficiencies in some area then supplements may be necessary.  For instance, some common deficiencies are often seen with B12, iron and calcium. However, we often are unaware that we are lacking in these areas unless we have taken a blood test, so don’t know that a vitamin or mineral supplement is necessary.

Symptoms of vitamin or mineral deficiency.

There are 13 essential vitamins for health and wellbeing and below are the symptoms that are connected to a deficiency in some of them.

Vitamin A

A deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to skin irritation, frequent infections and hazy or unclear vision.  Some diseases like Celiac or cirrhosis of the live can make it difficult for the body to absorb Vitamin A.

Vitamin C- Taking vitamins

A deficiency in Vitamin C is not often seen in the developed world. However, it does occur.  Collagen is vital for our bodies and is provided by Vitamin A.  One of the first signs of deficiency is bruising easily together with damaged skin and wounds that are slow to heal.

Vitamin D- Taking vitamins

We get vitamin D from the sun. It is vital for our immune health.  Someone lacking in Vitamin D ay often get sick, experience a lot of muscle pain and have a lower bone metabolism.

Vitamin E

A deficiency is not common in healthy people. However, if a deficiency does occur it may contribute to problems with vision nerve and muscle damage and even loss of feeling in your extremities.

Vitamin K

This vitamin is vital for blood coagulation and for keeping your heart healthy. It also contributes towards bone development. A lack of vitamin K can lead to cardiovascular problems, problems with blood and affect bone strength. Babies can be at risk for deficiency in this vitamin but adults are rarely deficient.
B Vitamins

There are a whole range of B vitamins – all are important. B1 – Thiamin, B2 – Niacin, B3 – Pantothenic acid, B6 – biotin, B7 – folate and folic acid and B12. Being deficient in B vitamins can lead to anemia and feeling tired and weak. Pregnant women are sometimes deficient in B vitamins.

Different age groups need different amounts of these vitamins

Throughout the different stages of our lives the amounts of vitamins we need changes.   As we get older it is more difficult for our bodies to absorb or produce particular vitamins.

Babies

Formula that is given to babies is fortified with vitamins.  Breastfed babies do need to be given a Vitamin D supplement and this is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  As noted above Vitamin D deficiency can lead to poor bone development and rickets.

Early childhood

Childhood is the time when great leaps in physical growth occurs and a time and when much cognitive development takes place.   It is recommended that supplements of vitamin A, C and D be given to children on a daily basis between 6 months and 5 years

Adolescents and teenagers

As children grow their nutritional needs change.  With increased growth the recommended daily amount of calcium for children from 9 to 18 is around 1,300 mg, 1.8 to 2.4 micrograms of B vitamins and 11 IU of Vitamin E. Most of this should be provided for by eating a well-balanced diet.

You can find out the right amounts needed for children and adults which are listed by The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board.

Adults

It is suggested by the National Institutes of Health that people need approximately 1000 milligrams of calcium per day which will ensure good bone density throughout their adult life. It may be necessary to take a vitamin D supplement during the winter season because of the lack of sun.  It is not easy to find the amount of Vitamin D needed in the food you eat.

Often women, and especially those breastfeeding, will have nutrient deficiencies and need supplements as during pregnancy there is a shift in the amount of nutrients needed.   Folic acid is generally recommended which is known to help in the prevention of congenital defects.  Also, during pregnancy a woman is advised to have supplements of Vitamin A to ensure that her baby gets the nutrients they need.

Seniors

Often as we age, we may become deficient in some vitamins, perhaps because of medical issues.  Also, as we get older our bodies don’t absorb as much Vitamin B12 from our diet.  This happens naturally. However, around 43% of older adults are deficient in B12 and therefore it is recommended that those over 50 years take a supplement in B12.

Our bodies also absorb less calcium as we get older and this can cause weak bones and fractures.  Therefore, it is recommended by The National Osteoporosis Foundation that a supplement of 1,200 mg of calcium be taken daily for those over 70 years.

Compounding this is the fact that often elders are deficient in Vitamin D and the body needs this vitamin in order to absorb calcium into the body.

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