Vitamin Supplements: What you need to know
Medicine has been a part of human culture and society ever since man began to look for remedies for the most simple of illnesses thousands of years ago. There are no clear records on which point of time were the first medicines discovered by man, but historians indicate that early remedies for illnesses consisted of plant extracts and leaves, with some people resorting to superstition and magic to remedy the most common illnesses.
As the years have passed, ancient civilizations continuously improved medicine through rigorous research and experimentation. The earliest forms of medicine and healthcare were crude and unreliable; often not being adequate in giving the complete remedies to even the simplest of illnesses. Trial and error was much more common during those days. As civilization and science progressed, people began to look for more viable remedies, which resulted in the development of modern medicine.
Healthcare in the past few decades has drastically improved compared to the days passed. With life expectancy rates at all-time high and vastly improved medicine, healthcare across the world has been at its best during the modern era. By the time that vitamins were discovered and studied by scientists during the 19th and 20th centuries, people began to understand their purpose and how they help the body.
With the improvement of modern medicine and its contribution to prolonging life expectancies, people have been looking for the best medicine available to keep them healthy. With this in mind, people who are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle look for not only the ideal diet and exercise routines, but also look for the best vitamin supplements available in the market. With more and more people aiming for healthy and balanced lifestyles, buying vitamin supplements has become more popular than ever.
What are vitamin supplements?
As most people know, having the right amount of vitamins in your body help you in maintaining a healthy life. Vitamins help you keep your body nourished and well protected against most known diseases. Much of the vitamins you take in are dependent on your regular diet and the medicines you take. Some vitamins help aid the body in certain bodily functions, while other vitamins protect you from various diseases and illnesses. By taking in vitamin supplements, the body receives an extra intake of vitamins. Along with vitamin supplements, the best way to get vitamins is through unprocessed food, which provides the healthiest amount compared to anything else. Vitamin supplements were developed during the 20th century, after years of thorough research by scientists on the effects of vitamins in the human body. Pharmaceutical companies across the world began to create vitamin supplements; people began to learn more about their importance. Over the past few years, the number of people using vitamin supplements continues to grow in number, with more people looking to have a healthier lifestyle and a longer lifespan.
Before taking vitamin supplements, one must be aware of when to take it, and how much you have to take in a certain time period. For most vitamin supplement products, the recommended dosage or intake is usually taking at least one vitamin supplement pill daily. Some products offer multiple vitamins; this means that taking in more than one vitamin pill a day may need consultation with a health professional to make sure that it would be safe. The other best time to take in vitamin supplements is when your body is lacking in certain vitamins, which can cause health issues and various illnesses. For example, if your body is lacking in vitamin C, which is essential in fighting against certain kinds of diseases by reinforcing the body’s immune system, taking vitamin C pills can help stabilize your body and prevent contracting diseases.
Who needs to take vitamin supplements
For those who are maintaining a healthy lifestyle, taking in vitamin supplements must be done on a daily basis. While not all people take in or have access to vitamin supplements, there are certain groups of people that need to take them, which include:
For pregnant women, taking vitamin supplements has its benefits. Taking vitamin supplements for pregnant women (and even women who are planning to be pregnant) lessens the chance of birth defects and illnesses. Prenatal vitamins can also be taken as a dietary supplement to have better chances of having a healthy baby upon childbirth. The proper vitamin supplement for pregnant women is folic acid, which can also be found in grains (wheat, rice, cereals, etc.)
People who do not get enough sunlight
One of the top vitamin producers happens to be the sun. Receiving a healthy amount (prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause skin problems and other complications) of sunlight can give you a dose of vitamin D. Those who do not get enough sunlight may experience complications, such as skeletal deformities. Taking in vitamin D pills can help with the lack of sunlight exposure. The dosage may vary depending on advice from health professionals.
People with a vegan diet
People, who have a strict vegan diet, generally have a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables gives you a good amount of your daily vitamin intake. However, it is important to note that being on a vegan diet can also cause someone to develop vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is an important component for the body, as it is the vitamin that gives your blood a red color and is a part of your DNA makeup. Vitamin B12 mostly comes from animal based products, which is why people on a vegan diet do not get them as much. Taking a vitamin B12 pill can prevent problems, such as anemia, gastritis (thinning of the stomach lining), and immune system disorders.
People over the age of 50
Some of the most common buyers of vitamin supplements are over the age of 50. With numerous health issues, sickness, and degeneration becoming more abundant as people grow older, having a regular vitamin intake can help in keeping those problems at bay. Since vitamin deficiencies are more common for people at an advanced age, some people take multivitamins (pills which give you a complete set of vitamins and minerals) to address their needs. Having a regular vitamin intake at an advanced age can help maintain a healthy lifestyle and even prolong your lifespan.
Knowing your vitamins
As the previous section pointed out, some vitamins address the body’s specific needs. Here is a list of vitamins and their benefits to your body:
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is responsible for your eye health, which means having a good amount of vitamin A can help improve your eyesight. This vitamin also helps keep your skin healthy and can lessen the occurrence of wrinkles and acne on your skin.
Vitamin B: Unlike other vitamins, there are 8 kinds of B vitamins, namely vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. You can get all forms of B vitamins from animal based products, which is a staple in the diet of most people. B1 is important in RNA and DNA production, B2 is an important component in fatty acids, B3 is important for glucose and sugar metabolism, B5 helps oxidize fatty acids and carbohydrates, B6 aids in metabolism, B7 is in charge of the metabolism of lipids, proteins, and cholesterol, B9 aids in Red Blood Cell production, and B12 enhances muscle strength.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is important when it comes to your immune system. Vitamin C helps protect the body from unwanted elements and also helps with the body’s healing process.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is mainly produced in the body through exposure from sunlight. Vitamin D is an important component in increasing bone strength.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and assists vitamin A from getting damaged. Having high amounts of vitamin E helps lessen the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K helps in strengthening the bones and helps in releasing proteins and calcium that aids in the blood clotting process.
The Benefits of vitamin supplements
Taking vitamin supplements gives your body numerous health benefits, which helps you feel better overall. Here is a list of benefits that vitamin supplements can give:
Increased bone density (for those taking vitamin D pills): Having an increased bone density helps in lessening the occurrence of fractures and strengthens the bones overall.
Balances your diet:Taking vitamin supplements balances your diet by providing some of the vitamins that you do not usually take. Keep in mind that vitamin supplements are not food substitutes and that you should still maintain a regular food intake.
Relieving specific health conditions: As mentioned in the previous section, vitamin supplements help address specific health conditions caused by vitamin deficiencies. Not only can vitamin supplements relieve these conditions, but they can also prevent most diseases and illnesses one may contract.
Helps your immune system (for those taking vitamin C supplements): With vitamin C as an important element to help your body’s immune system, taking vitamin C supplements can help strengthen it. This also prevents most common illnesses from being contracted.
Lowers risk of major diseases: Vitamin supplements can help lower the risk of getting serious ailments, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of many serious illnesses.
What not to do when taking vitamin supplements
Do not substitute supplements for food: This is a common mistake done by most users of vitamin supplements. Lessening your food intake can lead to more health issues. Maintaining a proper diet while taking supplements is necessary for a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Do not forget to ask advice from a health professional: Most people tend to forget to consult a health professional before taking vitamin supplements. This may result to unwanted health risks that the user did not know about, which is the result of a lack of proper advice from your local doctor. Make sure to consult with your local hospital or clinic to see if taking vitamin supplements is recommended for your body.
Do not consume unhealthy food and drinks (and stop any unhealthy habits): While taking vitamin supplements improves your overall health, it does not mean it will do so while the user is still continuing with their unhealthy habits. To make the supplements more effective, it is recommended that you have a healthy diet and proper amounts of exercise.
Purchasing and consuming vitamin supplements are one of the biggest health decisions you may have to make in the long run. Taking these supplements is insurance that you will have a healthier and longer life. There are many vitamin supplement products available in the market and one of them is the USANA HealthPak, available in the Philippines. The USANA HealthPak offers a complete set of vitamin supplements that aims to provide you with optimal health. The HealthPak offers you 28 days’ worth of supplements, all organized into daily packets for convenience.
For more information about USANA’s healthcare products and to know more about our services, you can check out our home page here or contact us through this page.
"USANA's potency guarantee ensures that what is on the label is what is in the bottle. Our strict manufacturing processes make certain that every USANA nutritional supplement is of the absolute highest quality and cointains the proper, labelled levels of potency." - Dr. Myron Wentz
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