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Health Benefits of Vitamins and Supplements

Updated on January 31, 2015

Take vitamins with care

Keep vitamins in a cool dark place
Keep vitamins in a cool dark place

Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements

There are many health benefits of vitamins and supplements. One of the major questions is just how many you should take. What conditions should you take supplements to help. These are questions that have been answered by professionals and nutritionists with as many opinions as there are supplements.

I want to share with you how I obtained my information. I have been writing about health and health related conditions for many years--with at least 500 articles under my belt. Judging from the huge amount of supplements on the market, people are often tempted to try different supplements without knowing whether they need that particular vitamin or not.


Sources are as follows:

  • A recommendation from a friend
  • Read in a magazine
  • Heard or saw an advertisement
  • Read about the supplement online
  • Popular newsletters that circulate

Before starting any new supplement or vitamin regimen one should get the green light from a health provider.

I am not presenting an in depth discussion of each vitamin, but an overview with what I personally feel is safe and prudent. I have a few favorite supplements that have gotten really good results, and will share at a later date and another hub. Remember to use caution ingesting different supplements, as there are way too many claims out there by reputable doctors and nutritionists. Remember what works for one person may not work for another.

My Sources:

  • Institutions such as Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic
  • Government sites
  • Well known popular physicians who report daily online
  • Anecdotal
  • Personal experience

Water Soluble VS Fat Soluble

The different between fat and water soluble is simple. Fat soluble vitamins stay in the body and water soluble travel on through. You have to be extra careful not to overdose on the fat soluble vitamins to avoid toxic levels. Fat soluble vitamins: Vitamin A,D, E and K.

44 percent of the population take vitamins of some sort.

85 percent of the population feel all vitamins are good for you.

Vitamins are not classified by their structure, but are classified by biological and chemical activity.

All vitamins have different functions.

A Few Facts about Supplments

  • Vitamins and mineral capsules will lose their effectiveness after a period of time, When you purchase your supplements from drugstores and grocery stores you have no idea how long they vitamins have been on the shelves. A good suggestion is to purchase vitamins that have conception dates instead of expiration dates.
  • Capsules and gels far outweigh effectiveness than taking regular solid pills, as they dissolve quickly. As we age the hydrochloric acid in the stomach decreases, making it more difficult to digest pills. Capsules, gels, liquids and powders break down in our system to get full benefit.
  • Don't economize on cheap vitamins, however don't get taken in by high price vitamins sold by specific boutique vitamin companies. Do your homework about different companies to see what they offer, price and reliability.
  • The public is bombarded by way too many claims of promising good health, reduction in pain, and major health problems disappearing.. Many supplement companies promise they offer the best and purest products, and they can often convince you that their products will solve all medical conditions. The bottom line is that no matter how good the supplement may be there is generally no magic bullet to cure medical conditions.
  • The health benefits of different supplements vary greatly.

Food Versus Supplements

Getting your vitamins and minerals by eating nourishing food is the most advantageous and safest way to get what your body needs. Many fast food junkies think that by popping a lot of supplements will keep them healthy. The body has a great storage unit for all the unhealthy foods and these foods stay in the bloodstream a long time which can often cause unhealthy reactions.

Check with Your Health Provider

See your health provider before taking any supplements.
See your health provider before taking any supplements.

What Vitamins to Take

Since I am not a professional in the health arena. I am going to share with you what we do at our household and works well for us.

I personally believe in taking vitamins that address specific health conditions or issues that you may have. Both my husband and I are blessed with not having to take prescription drugs.

One of the reasons I like taking gels and capsules is from a personal experience we had. My husband's Ophthalmologist gave him some eye vitamins to take to keep his eyes healthy. I looked at the ingredients ingredients and found they contained Carnuba wax. I researched out a capsule with all the eye nutrients we wanted.

What We Take:

  • Vitamin B complex with vitamin C. Even though we eat a lot of healthy protein and many veggies and fruits this is an insurance policy for days we may miss a little.
  • Krill Oil: This is good for bones, brain and joints.
  • Vinpocetine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine for brain function
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid-Helps regulate blood sugar
  • Lutein--My husband has mild AMD in one eye and it hasn't gotten worse in ten years.
  • Eye supplement to ensure good vision
  • Turmeric pill--good for brain and muscle function
  • Vitamin D--even though we live in almost total sunshine, my husband had a deficiency.
  • Astaxanthin--This one is for good measure, thought to be the new miracle supplement

I take Vitamin C in powder form and add it to fruit juice.

I divide the supplements into half in the morning and half in the afternoon.



Multi-Vitamins

I am not a big fan of mult-vitamins. I personally feel they have too little of some things and too much of things you don't need. And I also think that the minimum daily requirement for most vitamins, minerals and supplements is way too low. Now you notice I am saying "my opinion" and it is to be taken that way only.

Where to Purchase

I order my products from a company called Swanson. They represent many different companies ahd have everything you could possible need.There are many reliable and reasonably priced vitamin catalog companies you can purchase your supplements from.

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    • carol7777 profile image
      Author

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I totally agree and do like taking supplements that are just one thing..which we mostly do. There are many brain related supplements and most are good...again one at a time. Thanks for stopping in and votes

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Carol7777, this is a great hub. We all need to be cautious when taking supplements. I take vitamins, minerals and herbs. I try to stay informed on ingredients and what can and cannot be taken together. My parents were big on taking supplements. Later in life we discovered that they were taking several types all dubbed as for "memory". What they did not recognize was they all had pretty much the same ingredients. Taking a full dose of all of them would constitute an overdose, bigtime. They don't seem to have been harmed but the possibilities of longterm damages is scary.

      Keep us informed, Carol. Voted up and useful.

    • carol7777 profile image
      Author

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      thanks Audrey...I am not a believer in popping vitamins but the right ones are very important. Thanks for coming by ....

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Interesting! And I loved that I saw some supplements on this list that I do not normally see!

    • carol7777 profile image
      Author

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      thanks Debbie: I always enjoy a visit from the lovely poet.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Carol this is so interesting full of information.. thank you

      debbie

    • carol7777 profile image
      Author

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Absolutely..and I think that loading up on any vitamins is useless..that is why I don't like multiples.. you never get enough of any one vitamin. Best of course is food and second take those that fit the situation. Thanks for the votes....and as always dropping by.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very useful information Carol. It is necessary to read labels and only go for the product with needed vitamins and minerals with the required levels.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • carol7777 profile image
      Author

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I think you should read everything before making a decision. Vitamins and minerals play an important part in our diet today. However, you need to choose the right ones for you. Thanks for dropping by.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      I appreciate the info in this article. It seems that medical science keeps changing its collective mind about the value of vitamins and supplements. I am so screwed up at this point I have no idea what to do.

    • carol7777 profile image
      Author

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I am not prescribing however, a Bcomplex is good for feeling tired. And also a good dose of vitamin C. I order from Swanson..they have may brands. I used to spend 150 a month on vitamins and now 35..and very happy with what I buy. Most of my tiredness comes from personal stress and lack of solid sleep. Funny but I had a really tired day today which happens rarely. Thanks for comments and as always stopping by.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Lots of great info here Carol, as always.. thank you for sharing! I am ashamed to admit that the only time I've ever taken vitamins or anything like that is when I was pregnant. I often think about it though, and wonder if there is something I should be taking. Probably does have something to do with why I am tired much of the time. I wonder, have your heard of the MD Prescriptive brand? I have a friend who keeps recommending it to me but it's so expensive. Great hub, voting up, interesting :)

    • carol7777 profile image
      Author

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Mama Kim 8: Actually my husband got prescribed 50,00 per week. once a week. There are some inferior vitamin companies out there. But there are so good ones, and price is not always a factor.

      teaches 12345: Thanks for vote up...Always like that. Good supplements are valuable as long as you know exactly what and why you are taking them.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am all in support of taking supplements and the tips and facts you mention here are reasons why I do. I have found that taking supplements really makes a difference in my energy levels and in the amount of food I eat daily. Great hub post. Voted up.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Wonderful information here Carol! It's interesting your husband had a VD deficiency despite having enough sun. I had/have one too despite taking over 2000 units a day. My doctor put me on 6000 units a day for a few months. I'm wondering if the company I buy from isn't very good.

      Voted up and useful!

    • carol7777 profile image
      Author

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for sharing all the information. I am amazed at the amount of money that is spent on supplements. Of course, look at the prescription industry. I am very against people randomly taking vitamins and other supplements. People think they are not dangerous, and they can be. Thanks for dropping by.

    • alifeofdesign profile image

      Graham Gifford 4 years ago from New Hamphire

      For anyone that takes supplements (and I don't know of anyone that doesn't) this is helpful information to have and to continue to research. I've always been interested in naturopathy and have read so many articles pertaining to various vitamins and how to properly take them - it can be confusing and overwhelming. Today, I take a thyroid medicine and it's very important that I ingest it in a very specific manner and with only a few other supplements.

      You are correct - supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs) they are all very (VERY) big business. There is as much misinformation regrading natural pills as there is to pills monitored by the FDA.

    • carol7777 profile image
      Author

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you Nell Rose: It has always been kind of a working hobby for me to study the best way to stay healthy by natural means. There is way too much propaganda about vitamins and other supplements. Many people are making big bucks with claims.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi carol, you got some interesting points here, I never thought of the fact that the multi vitamin has a little of each and over all isn't that potent. And of course its common sense to realise that taking vitamins and eating the wrong food will be counter productive, the only thing is I must lack common sense because it never dawned on me! lol! seriously great info and really helpful, thanks!