Vitamin Supplements, what do you need to know
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  • In 2019, the sales volume of vitamins in Great Britain alone was over 431.5 million British pounds.
  • Vitamin supplements are available in various forms such as tablets, capsules, gummy bears, oils, liquids, powders, topical creams, etc .
  • Capsules and tablets are the earliest forms of the supplements.
  • Any supplement brand, that exaggerates its effects or have false medical claims, should not be used. Supplements do not cure diseases, they simply provide the body with good quality nutrients, in this case, vitamins.
  • Vitamins, when consumed in excess can cause unwanted changes in the body that will result in undesirable symptoms.
  • Overall, one’s choice of vitamins is multifactorial depending on suitability, availability and preference; vitamins once taken should be consumed regularly or as prescribed.

In 2019, the sales volume of vitamins in Great Britain alone was over 431.5 million British pounds, experiencing a yearly 2.2% increase.  

These figures reflect an increase of awareness in maintaining one’s health and wellbeing.

Recently, due to hectic working hours and advances in the health and wellbeing fields, many people have turned their faces towards vitamin supplements that are readily available in order to to get all the essential nutrients needed in one’s diet.

More so, the Global Vitamin Supplements Market is flourishing over the past couple of years and is expected to grow by 30,000 million dollars from 2018 to 2025 .

What Are the Different Types of Vitamin Supplements?

Vitamin supplements are available in various formats such as tablets, capsules, gummy bears, oils, liquids, powders, topical creams, etc.

  • CAPSULE – This is the form of the supplement in which the main ingredient is stored within the shells of gelatin or starch.
  • TABLET – Tablets are the small pills in which the main ingredient is mixed with additional substances so that it is shaped accordingly.
  • POWDER – Powdered form is available for people who are unable to swallow tablets and capsules.
  • GUMMY BEARS – Gummy Bears were first presented for kids but now, adults use them too. They taste good because of the additional favorings added to them. They are either made up of gelatin or fruit pectin.
  • OILS AND LIQUIDS – They are also easy to consume as one can mix them with various drinks and foods.

Capsules and tablets are the earliest forms of the supplements.

They can provide the body with effective amounts of vitamins but they are hard to swallow and usually give the impression that a person is on medications.

Whereas the gummy bears feel like one is having a snack and they taste good as well.

Moreover, the powdered, oil and liquid forms of supplements are preferred as these forms can be mixed with food or drinks which make them more appealing.

Other than this, the availability of the supplement is another important factor in declaring any form better.

It depends upon the time of vitamin one is consuming.

Some are better to be eaten as capsules because of their sensitivity against the stomach hyperacidity.

Some are better taken in a flavored form or with other food materials because of their strong tastes. 

What Forms of Vitamin Should I Take?

Overall, one’s choice of vitamins is multifactorial depending on suitability, availability and preference.

Nowadays, there are many options and so to pick one that meets your needs is best done with the advice of a physician. 

What is A Good Quality Vitamin Supplement?

The quality of the vitamin supplement is based upon the credibility of the supplier presenting it.

You can look for the credibility of these supplements by searching them over the www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed or also at the National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements.

Any supplement brand, that exaggerates its effects or have false medical claims, should not be used.

Supplements do not cure diseases, they simply provide the body with good quality nutrients, in this case, vitamins.

Since authorities like the FDA do not test the quality of supplements, it is better to consume those supplements that are tested and verified by third party companies. For this reason, look at the vitamin supplements that have a label of either NSF, US Pharmacopeia, BSCG, or ConsumerLab. This is to make sure that the supplements contain all those things which they claim to have.

Any vitamin supplement that is tested by the third party should be chosen over the ones that are not tested.It’s important to verify if the medicine is registered and approved as well in order to make guarantee its safety.

Risks of Getting too Much Vitamin

Too much of everything is toxic, even if vitamins are essential for a healthy life.

Vitamins, when consumed in excess, can cause undesired changes in the body. This might result in some side effects.

Excess of Vitamin B12

A case study of a woman having treatment for pernicious anemia showed that multiple high doses of vitamin B12 have resulted in the development of headache, anxiety, akathisia, acne and palpitations.

These symptoms disappeared 2 weeks after the therapy.

According this this study, the toxicity of Vitamin B12 is not life-threatening but still it can be toxic for the body when consumed in excess.

Excess of Vitamin D

Similarly, vitamin D toxicity is also found to be on the rise.

A Pubmed review study reviewed 13 cases of vitamin D overdosing between 1936 and 2018.

All these cases are either due to a manufacturing defect/error or because of the accidental intake of too much vitamin D.

All the patients had the common symptoms of weakness, vomiting, and loss of Appetite along with diarrhea, thirst, and dehydration.

Vitamin D deficiency causes hypercalcemia as well as hypercalciuria.

Yes, Too much vitamin can be toxic

Considering the above two cases, it is possible that one can develop toxicity from overdosing any sort of vitamin.

So one should take care while consuming these supplementary medications.

What Vitamins Should Be Supplemented?

A person can get all sorts of vitamins from a healthy balanced diet but there are some vitamins that should better be supplemented. Here are some examples:

  • Folic Acid during pregnancy
  • Vitamin D during the winter season
  • Vitamins A, B, and C for children

Folic Acid During Pregnancy

During the early phase of pregnancy, organs start to develop. They need folic acid for a proper development.

If not provided, a normal body development might be risked. 

For this reason, a pregnant woman should consume nearly 400 micrograms of folic acid each day until the 12th week of pregnancy.

Vitamin D Supplements During the Winter

A human body can synthesize vitamin D from sunlight exposure during the summer season but as soon as the winter arrives, sunlight exposure is reduced and the body will be deficient of vitamin D if not properly supplemented.

To deal with this issue, vitamin D supplements are recommended.

Vitamins for Children 

Children are deficient in various vitamins and require extra amounts of these vitamins because they are highly required by the growing body.

A child’s diet should be supplemented with vitamins A, C, and D. 

Dietary Sources of Essential Vitamins

Sometimes you are unable to consume vitamin supplements regularly.

In such circumstances, your diet should provide you with sufficient amounts of all the essential vitamins.

  • Vitamin A Vegetables like carrots, green leafy vegetables, chilies, etc. are a rich source of vitamin A and should always be a part of the diet.

  • Vitamin B Complex – These vitamins are highly abundant in milk, liver, kidneys, cheese, dark green vegetables and fish. 
  • Vitamin C – an essential vitamin for bone strength and for the maintenance of connective tissues. It is very much abundant in nature.

The perfect dietary sources for vitamin C are Oranges, Lime, Plums, Cherries, Milk, Chili Peppers, Guava, etc. 

  • Vitamin D –  The strength of bones is dependant upon vitamin D.

It should be included in the diet via Cod Liver Oil, Sardines, Salmon, Tuna, and Egg Yolk. 

  • Vitamin E – This protective Vitamin has strong anti-oxidant properties and helps the body fight off the harmful reactive oxygen species.

This vitamin is present in food items such as Seeds, Nuts, Vegetable Oils, and Green Vegetables. 

  • Vitamin K – This maintains the clotting ability of the blood and is essential for the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system.

This vitamin is usually found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, cauliflower,   broccoli, brussels sprout, asparagus, lettuce, and kiwi fruit.

What Supplement is Best for You?

After knowing the different forms of vitamins and their functions, it is important to identify what works best for you by consulting a physician especially if you have an existing health problem.

Vitamins and supplements are made in order to boost your immune system and to give the body the nutrients it requires.

Once you have one that fits your needs, it is important to take them regularly or as prescribed.

You can also opt for natural sources such as vegetables, fruits, meat etc.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself so you can live the best life possible!