Five Questions to Ask Before Taking a Vitamin Supplement

Do you take vitamins daily or are you thinking of taking some? Check out the questions you need to ask before deciding on a vitamin supplement.

October 05, 2017 | HF Healthy Living Team

Many Americans take some form of a vitamin supplement, as usage has been at a high for decades, according to the National Institutes of Health. However, it’s important to keep in mind that specific vitamins become more popular as new information comes out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need all those vitamins.

Vitamin D has been shown to not only help build strong bones but also to help prevent diabetes, hypertension, depression, fibromyalgia, and more, as one example. Because of this information, many have started to add it to their daily routine. However, it’s important to have a balance of essential vitamins and minerals, so make sure to get your levels checked before supplementing.

Click the photos below to get answers to your questions about vitamin supplements.

Are you replacing a healthy diet with a vitamin?


No vitamin supplement can replace the minerals and nutrients you need from a nutritious diet. If you include plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains, and healthy fats like avocado, you should get all the nutrients you need. But if you’re unsure of vitamin deficiencies, be sure to ask your doctor.


Do you pay attention
to your individual needs?


The vitamin world can be confusing, but everyone’s body is different when it comes to vitamin deficiencies, so try not to get overwhelmed by what might work for someone else; it could work differently for you. Let your doctor help you decide what vitamin or vitamins are best to support your health.


Are you at a vulnerable age
or in a vulnerable condition?


Those over 50 years old can have vitamin deficiencies, as problems with body absorption can occur more often. Look out for deficiencies in vitamins D, B6, B12, and folate. Learn more facts about senior health now. Pregnant women and those with health conditions may also require specific vitamins.


Do you follow a strict
vegetarian or vegan diet?


Vegetarians and vegans sometimes miss out on certain vitamins (B12, for example) if they aren’t supplementing foods that are fortified with them. A supplement can help you get all the vitamins you need if you follow this type of diet.


Do you take any
prescription medicine?


Some medicines, when mixed with vitamins, can have negative side effects. Blood thinners can interfere with vitamin K or E, for example. You also want to be sure you aren’t taking too much of any vitamin, especially if you take prescription drugs, as it can affect how well they work. Always ask your doctor.


© 2017 HF Management Services, LLC

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

“Fortify Your Knowledge About Vitamins,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed September 6, 2017.

“Trends in Dietary Supplement Use Among US Adults,” The Jama Network. October 11, 2016.

“Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin,” National Institutes of Health. April–June 2012.

“Vitamin D Deficiency,” National Institutes of Health. January 2010.

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