5 vitamins and minerals you should considerWhile your diet should be your primary source of essential vitamins and minerals, there are some situations in which supplements can be recommended. Here are five such cases.
VITAMIN D: WHEN YOUR EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT IS LIMITED OR IF YOU ARE A SENIOR
Where does Vitamin D come from?
Foods are not the main source of Vitamin D, as it is found mainly in some fish, shellfish and egg yolks. Rather, this vitamin is mostly produced by the body in response to sunlight on our skin. During the summer, Vitamin D production may exceed daily requirements. Any excess production will be stored in fat tissue for use when daily requirements are not met.
During the winter, because the sun’s rays are weaker and very little skin is exposed, Vitamin D production is very low. For older people, production may be low year-round, as the effect of aging on skin reduces the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D.
How much Vitamin D do you need?
Health Canada recommends that all adults over the age of 50 take a daily Vitamin D supplement. If you generally get very little exposure to the sun, you may also need a Vitamin D supplement. Talk to your healthcare professional about it.
VITAMIN B12: FOR THOSE WHO AVOID ALL ANIMAL FOODS
What foods are rich in Vitamin B12?
In its naturally occurring form, Vitamin B12 is found exclusively in foods of animal origin, including meat, eggs, fish, and dairy products. Some food products are fortified with Vitamin B12, such as cereals, plant-based beverages, and nutritional yeast.
How much Vitamin B12 do you need?
As per Health Canada, adults need to get 2.4 mcg of Vitamin B12 in their daily diet.
People who follow a strict vegan diet may find it challenging to consume enough B12-fortified foods to meet these requirements and may need to take a supplement.
FOLIC ACID: IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO GET PREGNANT
When to start taking Folic Acid
To make sure your body has a sufficient supply of Folic Acid when you get pregnant, it is important to start taking Folic Acid supplements before you conceive. Ideally, you should start taking a supplement at least three months before stopping contraception and continue taking it during all your pregnancy. Given that unplanned pregnancies are not that unusual, Health Canada recommends that all women who could become pregnant take a daily Folic Acid supplement.
How much Folic Acid do you need?
All women who could become pregnant would need to be supplemented with 0.4 mg of Folic Acid. However, certain health conditions may require a higher Folic Acid supplementation. Consult your healthcare professional to find out which dose is right for you.
VITAMIN C: FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT EAT ENOUGH CITRUS FRUITS
Why do smokers need more Vitamin C?
Most people get enough Vitamin C from their diet, as this vitamin is found in fruits, vegetables and many other foods. Smokers, however, may need more than non-smokers, because vitamin C stored in your body is depleted faster due to smoking.
How much Vitamin C do you need?
The daily recommended intake of Vitamin C for non-smokers is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women. According to many experts, smokers need 35 mg more Vitamin C than the recommended daily intake, i.e., 125 mg for men and 110 mg for women.
If you smoke and your diet is low in Vitamin C, a supplement may be a good option.
CALCIUM: FOR THOSE WHO DON’T CONSUME DAIRY PRODUCTS
What foods are rich in Calcium?
Calcium is found in many foods. However dairy products contain the most, which means people who don’t consume dairy may not be getting enough calcium in their diet.
How much Calcium do you need?
As per the Canadian Government, here’s the daily recommended intake of calcium:
- Adults aged 19 to 50: 1000 mg
- Adults aged 51 to 70: 1000 mg for men or 1200 mg for women
- Adults aged 71 or older: 1200 mg
GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR DIET?
To ensure your diet meets all your nutritional requirements, it is worth consulting a registered dietitian. If they recommend you take a vitamin or mineral supplement, your healthcare professional can help you choose the right product and make sure it doesn’t interact with any medications you may be taking. Drop by your pharmacy to ask for assistance.
Every medication or natural health product may cause serious adverse reactions or interactions with other medications.
Read the label, warnings and inserts provided by the manufacturer and consult your pharmacist when purchasing such medications or natural health products.
Always keep medications and natural health products out of the reach of children.
The pharmacy services presented in this section are offered by pharmacist owners who are affiliated with Proxim. The pharmacists are solely responsible for the professional activities carried out during the practice of pharmacy.
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.