March 21, 2013

Should I Take Vitamin And Mineral Supplements?

I am very happy to find others are also urging caution when it comes to vitamins and minerals. There may be health consequences of overdosing on vitamins and minerals. Caution is the right description and in some cases, certain supplements should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision.

A distinction often not explained is whether a supplement is water-soluble or fat-soluble. Most vitamins that are water-soluble are the safest as the excess that is not needed is passed from the body and does not build to toxic levels that create health concerns. On the other side, fat-soluble vitamins do build to toxic levels and excesses of these do create levels that can become toxic, cause severe illness and sometimes, but rarely, even death.

The best advice I can share with you is to do your homework before taking vitamins and minerals, and this includes multivitamin supplements. Do you know what foods are fortified and with what vitamins and minerals. This is an area that many people forget about and often overcompensate as a result.

How do you determine if you need supplements? This is one time that you seriously need to consider getting a referral to a registered dietitian (RD). Make sure they know that this is a consultation for vitamins and minerals. Most medical insurance will cover this, but if in doubt, call the medical insurance company and ask. They may have a suggestion or even be able to give you a referral to one they respect. Medicare does cover this for the people on Medicare.

Then before your appointment, you will need to do your homework. List the foods that you eat daily and do this for several weeks. List foods that you do not like and won't consume so that the RD will have alternate foods. Do not be afraid to say that you won't eat something if the RD suggests this. Do not let them bully you into saying that you will eat something. It may be that this will be the key to knowing that a particular vitamin may be needed as a supplement. If you are not fond of certain foods, decide whether you can eat them once a week or only once a month. And then, live up to this.

Then use these URLs to lookup and read information about vitamins, minerals, and even drug information if needed. Do not read part of the topic, but read to the end of the vitamin or mineral to find the conflicts with medications. Also note that it may say to only take them under the supervision of a knowledgeable healthcare provider or doctor. This is wise advice and should be followed.

The above are sources I use for information on vitamins and minerals. There are other sources if you use your search engine and want additional information on a particular vitamin or mineral. The sources above are more complete that many I have found. Be healthy, but know whether you need additional vitamins and minerals before spending money on these.

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