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The Wisdom Of Taking Supplements

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/31/2007 | Nutrition

It is a known fact that vitamins, minerals and micronutrients are essential to good health. If this world were perfect we would get all these nutrients from the food we eat on a daily basis. However, because this does not always happen, there are some convincing reasons to consider taking vitamin, mineral or micronutrient supplements.

Vitamins can help us overcome our lifestyle problems. On the whole, we are not very responsible when it comes to healthy habits. Many people play with their lives by smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, not getting adequate exercise or sleep, making poor choices in foods, and many other activities that lead to poor health. By taking vitamins every day, some of these negative effects may be counteracted.

Women in particular have special vitamin needs related both to osteoporosis and pregnancy issues. Although men can also have osteoporosis, it tends to attack women more and cause them greater suffering. By supplementing with calcium on a daily basis, much of the risk for osteoporosis can be offset. For women who are pregnant or considering having children, folic acid is an essential supplement. This B vitamin can prevent birth defects such as Spina Bifida in newborn babies.

Men, too, have issues that can be fought through proper vitamin intake. Cardiovascular problems are thought to be reduced by taking vitamin E supplements. They are believed to play an important role in keeping the blood pressure and cholesterol levels low in most males aged forty and over. Keeping the arteries clean is an important factor in preventing heart attacks and vitamin E has been shown in research studies to accomplish this task.

Dieters have special supplementation needs of their own. Many young girls diet on a regular basis and consume far too few calories to accommodate their vitamin needs. While the wisdom of going on particular weight loss diets is a topic for another discussion, anyone on such a diet should look to vitamin supplements to avoid malnutrition and other maladies. Inadequate nutrition can cause a person to be vulnerable to various ailments and a weakened immune system.

Another great reason to consider vitamin supplementation is the potential cancer prevention some vitamins are believed to provide. Research has suggested that vitamin E and vitamin A prevent skin cancer. Many studies in recent years have found that taking certain vitamins may similarly prevent other types of cancers.

While there is never a fail proof plan when it comes to vitamin supplements, the evidence does suggest that risk may be reduced and conditions may be improved through supplementation. Due to all of the possible benefits, supplementation is definitely worth considering.