Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Should we? Should We Not?

Should daily supplements be taken? This is the big question that needs answering.

We’ve been advised to get our 5 or 7 a day from our food.
However, given our busy lives who can honestly say they eat a rainbow colour of fruits and vegetables. It is true we can get our vitamins and minerals by eating healthy balanced diet. It is also true that supplements are needed when we do lack some of our nutrients.

Why are vitamins and Minerals important?
They are important simply because they are essential nutrients that our body needs to function.
Supplements are recommended for various reasons:

For instance, Folic acid in pregnancy: women are advised to begin taking Vitamin B12 3 months before they get pregnant and up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, this is because folic acid can help to prevent neutral tube defects such as spina bifida.

Iron: plays several important roles in our body, it helps to makes red blood cells
Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth
Vitamin C has a multitude functions

It is also recommended that all pregnant and breastfeeding women, children aged 6 months to 5 years and those who are 65 and over, anyone not exposed to the sun take vitamin D supplements.

Supplements for Children:

I have had this discussion with my friends a few times, those who believe children should take supplements and those who think they shouldn’t.

The health department’s recommendation is that children aged 6 months to 5 years should take a supplement containing Vitamins A, C, and D. this is because growing children tend not to get enough from their diet. If you have kids like mine, who have a certain liking for some food groups, fruits and vegetables, and a deep dislike for others, then you will understand their need for supplement.

It is true that a balance diet will definitely provide you with all the supplement you need. But my conclusion is, unless you go purely organic, and have at least a daily combination of 7 to 10 potions of fruits and vegetables, are in the best health possible, supplement may be taken.

I am on a several supplements, A, C, D and folic acid as a result of my rheumatoid arthritis, and I attribute my daily strength to taking supplements as well as having a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and other healthy foods.

According to Harvard publication: a recent randomized trial in men suggested multivitamins have possible benefits for cancer prevention. Results from other trials regarding other supplements will be available within the next five years. According to Dr Manson.

Should we? Should we Not?
Supplements can be dangerous when taken in larger than recommended quantities. always check with your doctor before opening a bottle of pills. If you are lacking in a particular nutrient, consult our doctor for advise on whether you can take a particular supplement and always stick to the recommended daily allowance.

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Sources: Harvard Health publications, BMA publications, NHS health wise.

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