Prior to taking any supplement it is important to speak to your healthcare provider or Registered Dietitian to discuss your individual needs. Will mineral and vitamin supplements give you energy? No. The energy that your body needs to think, work and play comes from calories. Minerals and vitamins in pill form don’t provide calories. Calories come from the foods we eat. Can mineral and vitamin supplements reduce stress? No. Mineral and vitamin supplements do not reduce stress, but eating well is one strategy that can help you cope with the stress of daily living. A supplement will only provide some missing nutrients if you’re not eating well.
You or your family may get the nutrients you need by following the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide. Mineral and vitamin supplements don’t provide the advantages of food like fibre, carb, fat, protein and calories.
Who should consider taking a supplement? Here are a few situations that may require a supplement. Remember, if you’re worried about your nutrient intake or think you might need a supplement, talk to your healthcare provider or Registered Dietitian. Women of childbearing age who’re thinking of getting pregnant should take a supplement that contains at least 400 ug of folic acid. This is to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida that may begin early in pregnancy even before many women realize they’re pregnant. Women who’re pregnant need added folic acid and iron, which can be obtained from food and with a multivitamin.
Men and Women over the age of 50 should consider D vitamin and vitamin B12 supplements. Canada’s Food Guide recommends a daily supplement of 400 IU of D vitamin for men as well as women over the age of 50. In addition, adults over 50 might not be capable to completely absorb vitamin B12 that is naturally in foods and should take a supplement. Individuals who do not drink milk or who drink less than 2 cups of milk or fortified soy drink may need a vitamin D and\/or calcium supplement. Vegetarians or Vegans. A well planned vegetarian or vegan diet will satisfy most nutrient needs.
Vegans might need a source of vitamin B1 or from a supplement or foods fortified with vitamin B12. They can also benefit from a calcium and D vitamin supplement. Individuals with medical conditions. Some conditions like anemia or osteoporosis might need more of some nutrients. Or if you have had surgery or an infection you might require extra nutrients or a supplement till you regain your health. Individuals with very limited diets, like those with poor appetite, very low calorie diet or food allergic reactions might need a supplement. Individuals who smoke. Smoking increases the need for vitamin C. Individuals who smoke should take a vitamin C supplement and eat vitamin C rich foods. 5.