Vitamin and mineral supplements are often misused and taken without professional advice. They are often used as a medicine to treat ailments such as the common cold or to combat lifestyle issues such as stress. Contrary to popular belief, vitamins are not drugs or miracle cures. These are organic compounds that participate in various metabolic functions. High dose supplements should not be taken except on the recommendation of a doctor.

Food Supplements

Food supplements include ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and enzymes. Food supplements are marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, capsules, capsules, powders and liquids.

Johns Hopkins researchers reviewed evidence about supplements, including three very recent studies:


  • An analysis of research involving 450,000 people, which found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for heart disease or cancer.
  • A study that tracked the mental functioning and multivitamin use of 5,947 men for 12 years found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for mental declines such as memory loss or slowed-down thinking.
  • A study of 1,708 heart attack survivors who took a high-dose multivitamin or placebo for up to 55 months. Rates of later heart attacks, heart surgeries and deaths were similar in the two groups.

Researchers find that:

  • Adequate intakes of vitamin A, K, zinc, and magnesium — from food, not supplements — were linked to a lower risk of death.
  • Adequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin K, and zinc — from foods, not supplements — were associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
  • Excess intake of calcium was associated with a higher risk of dying from cancer.
  • Excess intake of calcium from supplements (at least 1,000 milligrams per day) was associated with an increased risk of death from cancer.

How much of each nutrient do you need?

Here are the recommended levels of daily intake for several important nutrients.

Nutrient How much you Don’t exceed
Calcium 1,000–1,200 mg 2,000 mg
Folate 400 mcg 1,000 mcg
Iron 8 mg 45 mg
Vitamin A 700 mcg RAE* 3,000 mcg RAE
Vitamin B 6 1.5 mg 100 mg
Vitamin B 12 2.4 mcg No established

upper limit

Vitamin C 75 mg 2,000 mg
Vitamin D 600–800 IU 4,000 IU
Vitamin E 15 mg 1,000 mg


Dr Millstein explains, “Supplements may interact with other medications you take or pose risks if you have certain medical conditions, such as liver disease, or if you are going to have surgery. Some supplements have also not been tested in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children, and you may need to take extra care. ”

Supplements should never be used in place of real food. Don’t underestimate what a nutrient-dense salad can do for you compared to a pill made in a factory. Vitamins and minerals are essential in helping your body grow and function as it should. While most people get all that is recommended from eating a healthy diet, others need a little extra nutrients. This is where supplements come in – providing you with the support your body needs to stay healthy.

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