Anyone else immediately think of the Flintstones when you hear the word “vitamin”? While vitamins have changed through the years from tablets to gummies and generic to customizable, “taking your vitamins” is a good habit to have.
Who needs a vitamin?
Not everyone needs a vitamin. Think of vitamins as insurance. They help fill in the gaps from your diet for any areas that you are lacking. If you have a varied diet, chances are you do not need to take a vitamin. You might need to take a vitamin if:
- You don’t eat a variety of food. Skipping food groups or only eating the same thing can cause gaps in your nutrition.
- You have increased nutrient needs, like athletes or people who might become pregnant
- You have problems with absorbing nutrients from food
Do I have to take a vitamin?
No. If you eat a healthy diet consisting of a lot of different foods, then you probably don’t need one.
Are taking vitamins safe?
Yes, for the most part taking vitamins is safe. Vitamins are not food replacements. They are meant to supplement a varied diet. It’s usually best to try to get your vitamins from real unprocessed foods.
If taken in excess, vitamins can become toxic. Especially the fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin E,D,K, and A.
Vitamins are supplements and are not tightly regulated by the FDA. For your safety, try to only buy vitamins that have been certified by a third party. Third parties independently test to make sure that the vitamin is what it says it is and in the right amounts.
Be careful not to over-consume vitamins through multiple sources. Remember that vitamins and minerals may be added to food, like fortified orange juice, cereal, or energy bars.
Which vitamins do I need?
Most people do just fine with a multivitamin. However, if you have a vitamin deficiency or are trying to treat a problem then you might need to supplement in greater amounts or a “therapeutic dose”.
TNT offers a test called a micronutrient test. This test measures your vitamin and mineral stores. As part of this test, you will create a personalized plan to improve your nutrient stores through food, supplements, or both.
Read this article by Healthline about common vitamin deficiencies and how to treat them.