Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Updated at: Jan 17, 2013
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Dr Poonam Sachdev
Exercise & FitnessWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Jan 17, 2013

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients. This means that they are needed by your body in small quantity but they are important for proper functioning of the body.


They are needed for various functions of the body like maintaining your eyesight, strengthening of bones. However many people are not aware that vitamins and minerals are essential for the body.


Vitamins are essential nutrients are needed for optimal functioning of various organs and tissues in the body. The 13 types of vitamins that your body absolutely needs are-- vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine/B1, riboflavin/B2, niacin/B3, pantothenic acid/B5, biotin/B7, B6, B12 and folate/B9). Some of these vitamins are water-soluble whereas others are fat soluble.

  • Water-soluble vitamins: Vitamins B and vitamin C are water soluble vitamins
  • Fat-soluble vitamins: Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble vitamins.


Do You Need a Vitamin or Mineral Supplement?

Most people without special health needs do not need vitamin or mineral supplements. Their requirement of vitamins and minerals can be met by eating a balanced diet.

If you have special needs or believe that you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals consult your doctor or a registered dietitian before starting any kind of vitamin or mineral supplement.

Some people who definitely need to vitamins and mineral supplements are;

  • People more than 50 years of age need to take vitamin B12 supplement.
  • Woman of childbearing age,
  • Pregnant women
  • Elderly people with dark skin, or who are not exposed to enough sunlight need to take extra vitamin D (as fortified foods or supplements).

But it is important to remember that---the best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need is by eating a well balanced and nutritious diet. Even if you need to take supplements do not ignore your diet—use supplement to fill in the gaps. Before starting any supplement consult your doctor as even vitamin and mineral supplements can have adverse effects.



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