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Updated on March 23, 2012

Vitamins, like minerals, are not a source of energy. They regulate the various processes and organization of the body.

Without the activating presence of vitamins and minerals, the protein, fats and carbohydrates will not function either.

By the same token, vitamins and minerals are each individually powerless or ineffective without the presence of the other. Nor are just some vitamins and some minerals good enough. All must be present in the right quantities if nature's grand design is to work effectively.

There are a number of multivitamins on the market which contain insignificant quantities of vitamins and minerals, which could never produce any significant change in one's health. A multivitamin should contain at least 25mg of the five major B vitamins, 5,000 IUs of vitamin A, 400 IUs of vitamin D, 100 IUs of vitamin E, and 250mg of vitamin C.

Contrary to many people's beliefs, a vast number of supplements contain the same additives, preservatives, colourings, and sugar that have helped our health to deteriorate in the first place. Some of these ingredients don't even have to be declared on the label. The best rule of thumb is to buy only those supplements which declare all their ingredients, and use only natural excipients. (Excipients are the materials used to bind, coat, lubricate or fill the tablet.) The best excipients to use are calcium phosphate, magnesium stearate, yeast, kelp, and gum acacia. If any others are used make sure you know what they are.

Choosing the right supplements for you is a personal affair. We each have different needs and these also change as you begin to correct your vitamin imbalances. However, there are three ways in which you can find out more exactly which vitamins are likely to help you.

The first way is by recognizing the body systems and organs that are most likely to need nutritional support. Are you a candidate for heart disease, or is digestion your sensitive area?

The second way is through blood tests, which are invasive, expensive, and not always conclusive. These are recommended as a last resort.

The third and most useful way is to look at the signs and symptoms of deficiency that you may be experiencing,


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