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Vitamins: How Essential Are They?

June 15, 2016


The Importance of Making the Right Choice

We’ve all been there—walking tirelessly through the grocery or drug store and stumbling into an aisle full of different supplements and vitamins. Choosing the right supplements out of the endless sea of labels can be overwhelming—What is melatonin? How does magnesium or potassium help? What does omega-3 do? Vitamin B, vitamin B12, vitamin B6—how many B vitamins are there? What is the difference between all of these supplements? Do I REALLY need these?

Our diets are generally the best place to get the vitamins and nutrients we need. And while a balanced diet is essential for vitamin absorption, many times the foods we eat do not provide an adequate amount of vitamins, and a nutritional supplement becomes critical for health.

One example is vitamin D. Vitamin D is available in two major forms: D2 and D3, which is the preferred form for supplementation. However, only a trace amount of D3 is found in food. Additionally, active forms of vitamin K (typically found in green, leafy plants) promote proper calcium usage for stronger, healthier bones when combined with D3. That’s why you’ll often find vitamin K in supplements containing vitamin D3—complementary vitamins are often combined to maximize benefits.

Taking vitamins and supplements to improve a nutritional deficiency can be essential for health. However, it’s hard to know what to take when there’s so much conflicting information online. Some articles claim that your daily intake of vitamins will cause more harm than good. And in some cases—for varying reasons—this may be true. However, one thing to take into account when doing your research on vitamins is that most over-the-counter vitamins are inadequately formulated and do not contain the essential, active ingredients that the body requires.

Over-the-counter vitamins have been known to include an abundance of fillers and additives, making them not the best source when it comes to analyzing the risks and benefits of taking supplements. Seeking out a pharmaceutical-grade supplement, especially in conjunction with nutrient testing from a health professional, allows you to take full advantage of absorption to improve your health.

All vitamins are not created equal, and taking high-quality supplements for your vitamin and mineral needs is important for your health and wellbeing. A body properly balanced and nourished—through diet, supplements, or both—can experience benefits like:

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