ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Determine if You Need a Vitamin or Supplement

Updated on March 22, 2010

The vitamin and dietary supplement industry is a multi-million dollar one. There are aisles of pills at every pharmacy. Just because there are so many different vitamins and supplements available, does not mean you need to take one though. Before automatically popping pills to boost your health, take some time to analyze your diet and your dietary needs.

If you eat a well balanced diet with lots of dairy, fruits and vegetables then the chances are good that you are getting all the nutrients you need from the food you eat. This is how it should be. But we all have likes and dislikes, and many people have special circumstances, while others chose a certain diet that could be lacking in a certain nutrient. My daughter for instance, has a dairy and egg allergy. I worry that she doesn't get enough calcium for a growing girl. Therefore I give her a calcium supplement. Take your special circumstances into consideration before deciding to take a vitamin.

Some people have special health needs that could benefit from a supplement. Studies have shown that people with ADD or ADHD show some benefit when taking an Omega-3 supplement. In fact many people would benefit from an Omega-3 supplement, as most people do not eat enough fish to get it regularly in their diet. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should take a folic acid supplement to prevent birth defects.  Vegetarians might not get enough protein or Vitamin B12 in their diets because they aren't eating meat.

Although milk and many fortified processed foods are supplemented with Vitamin D, recent studies have shown that most people are still deficient in it. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, because if our bodies get enough sunshine each day we will make all the Vitamin D we need. Because most people are so vigilant about using sunscreen though, most people don't get enough sun to make enough Vitamin D.  Calcium is something else that most people do not get enough of.  Even though it is added into many foods, because so few people drink milk anymore (usually soda is the substitute) many people are deficient.

I have a child that really does not like fruit.  I try to get her to eat some every day, but usually it just sits on her plate.  Contrast that with my boys, who love fruit, but dislike most vegetables.  I think my kids sum up a typical child - picky.  When you are dealing with children, many people err on the side of caution and go ahead and give them a good multi-vitamin.  Especially with young children who can be extremely picky, this is probably a good idea.  Of course you should talk to your doctor, but if you think that your diet or your child's diet is lacking in something then I don't think it hurts to give a multi-vitamin.

If you are concerned about whether you are getting everything you need in your diet, you should check with your doctor.  Your doctor can do some blood work and determine which areas might be deficient.  Honestly there are too many vitamins and supplementals on the market for the average person to be able to figure out what would be good for them.  It also seems that there are conflicting articles and information all over the place about the very supplements you see advertised as good for you.  Chances are good that you don't need to take a vitamin or supplement at all.  Take some time to analyze your diet and talk with your doctor to make sure you do what is best for your body.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Diane Inside 

      8 years ago

      nice hub very informative

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a wonderful hub and I think it is very hard to judge. A multivitamin would be the best.

    • JenDobson27 profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the great info! I try my best to eat a healthy, well balanced diet, but I usually just don't get all of the vitamins and minerals I need so I take a multivitamin daily.

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image


      8 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      Great hub. I think that the quality of the vitamin or supplement has a lot to do with it. If it's not all natural, it can often be more harmful than beneficial.

    • entertianmentplus profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the info very well done hub.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      I always get confused between the two but this really helps, Jennifer! Thanks a million!

    • kowality profile image


      8 years ago from Everywhere

      We don't get enough of the natural D like we used to. Kids are way to busy on their computers and we spend more time indoors. I started taking 10,000 ius of Vitamin D with Omega 3's 8 months ago. Didn't get sick once. Not bad at all. Many of my co-workers were down for a week or 2 during this time. Thank You for bringing that to everyones attention

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Very informative hub. Thanks.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting hub. I have taken additional supplements and then I stop because of things I have read. I still take a multi and additional calcium with vitamin D. In general, the topic confuses me, so I appreciate what you have written.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)