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Pros and Cons of Taking Vitamin Supplements

Living a healthier lifestyle has become a popular trend in today’ fast-food society. With more and more people feeling rushed by the perceived lack of time, maintaining a healthy diet is usually forgone for trivial concerns. A healthy diet provides the body with all the nutrients required for proper function. For those who fail to eat sufficiently, vitamin supplements can help a person get the nutrients the body needs. Even with the benefits that vitamin supplements provide, take caution. Overdosing can lead to excess supply, which may have adverse side effects detrimental to your health.

Pros

Many people can benefit from adding a vitamin supplement to their diet. Multi-vitamins are extremely beneficial for those who fail to eat properly due to a hectic schedule or lack of appetite. Taking one dose during the day will ensure that the body gets some of the vitamins and minerals it needs. Makers of multi-vitamins usually create dosages with several supplements that work together when digested. These combinations makes sure the body uses the supplement effectively.

Vitamin supplements can also be purchased in individual dosages as well. These can be beneficial for people who may have a deficiency in a particular vitamin. For example, pregnant women who are deficient in Vitamin B-9 (folic acid) can take it supplement form. This will help in the proper development of the baby during pregnancy. People also take such supplements to prevent the occurrence of illness. The most well-known of these is Vitamin C, which is usually taken to help ward off colds, especially in the winter.

Cons

Caution should be taken when adding a vitamin supplement to your diet. When an excess amount of a particular vitamin is in the body, certain reactions or side effects can occur. Overdosing on Vitamin C can cause mild side effects like nausea or gas or something major, such as the development of kidney stones. The dangers of overdosing tends to increase with the intake of fat soluble vitamins. Too much Vitamin D, for example, can cause internal organs to harden as the body absorbs too much calcium to use.

Taking vitamin supplements also discourage development of proper eating habits. As helpful as a vitamin supplement may seem, it is not a good substitute for eating healthy foods. In fact, the body utilizes vitamins and minerals derived from food better than it does from supplements. Removing heavily processed foods from your diet and replacing them with whole foods will ensure that your body is getting what it needs for proper function. In the long run, it will also help prevent the occurrence from diseases brought about from having vitamin deficiencies.

Vitamin supplements can be very helpful in maintaining a healthy body. Just like everything else, however, too much of anything is not good. Follow the directions listed on the packaging when taking vitamin supplements. This will ensure proper usage of the supplements and prevent reactions associated with overdosing of a particular vitamin.

Resources

ISPUB – Vitamin Deficiencies: An Overview, http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlFilePath=journals/ijnw/vol1n1/vitamins.xml, Retrieved 1/09/2010

Vitamin Overdose Symptoms, http://www.vitaminstohealth.com/vitamin-overdose.html, Retrieved 1/09/2010