Navigating the vitamin aisle at your local supermarket or pharmacy can be a daunting task. With so many different types of vitamins available, it can be difficult to determine which ones are best for you and your loved ones to reach your health and wellness goals. Fortunately, there are some general guidelines for taking vitamin supplements at any age. Generally, children of any age can take vitamin supplements as long as they are formulated for their age group.
In some cases, doctors may even suggest giving vitamin supplements to infants. For instance, breast milk does not contain enough essential nutrients such as vitamin D and iron, so babies who are exclusively breastfed should receive 400 IU of vitamin D starting in the first few days of life. This should continue until they are weaned and consume at least a quart of whole milk per day. Most formulas in the U.
S. are fortified with vitamin D, so babies who drink at least 32 ounces of baby formula a day don't need supplements. Women should take a prenatal vitamin about three months before conception and continue until they finish breastfeeding. Make sure that the multivitamin complex includes folic acid, as it has been shown to reduce neural defects in the fetus. Women are also at greater risk of iron deficiency anemia due to menstruation, especially if their periods are consistently heavy.
These women may need to take an iron supplement if they don't get an adequate amount of iron in their diets. For those who follow plant-based diets, vitamin B12 is a good choice, as it's most commonly found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. If you maintain a regular, well-balanced diet that includes foods fortified with vitamin D, you shouldn't need vitamins. However, more research shows that vitamin D and calcium are essential for bone health, so it's best to find them through diet and lifestyle rather than taking supplements. Although there is no specific vitamin supplementation recommended for healthy adults, most multivitamins are likely to be safe to take. However, it's important to talk to your primary care doctor before taking high-dose vitamin supplements.
Patients who have undergone gastric bypass or who have pernicious anemia should take a vitamin B12 supplement, as vitamin B12 is not well absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract of these patients. If your doctor has told you that you are iron deficient, an iron supplement is recommended. The government recommends that all children ages 6 months to 5 years receive vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C, and D every day. Babies who drink more than 500 ml (approximately one pint) of infant formula a day should not receive vitamin supplements. Babies who are being breastfed should receive a daily vitamin D supplement from birth, whether you are taking a supplement that contains vitamin D or not. People over 50 should focus on getting the following vitamins and minerals vital to a healthier life: Vitamin B1 and B6 and folate if they're heavy drinkers; calcium and Vitamin D for bone health; and Vitamin B12 if they follow plant-based diets. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is key to good health.
Talk to your medical provider before starting or stopping any supplement. There are some medical conditions where the doctor may have a specific recommendation.