In some cases the vitamin and nutritional supplements are essential but not in others. Know when they may be hazardous to your health.

Dietary guidelines say that the nutritional needs should be met primarily through food, but some believe that taking certain supplements may be the best way to get the nutrients your food possibly lacking. However, it is important to understand the exact impact of the supplements on the body, before taking the money to buy them.

Supplements should not replace natural foods because they can not reproduce all of the health benefits of natural foods. Fruits and vegetables, for example, contain many different nutrients that provide health benefits for the human body. Therefore, depending on the current food and fitness, it might not be necessary to spend money on supplements.


These are some of the advantages that natural food versus supplements:

• Increased nutrition: natural foods are complex and contain a variety of micronutrients necessary for the body, not just one. An orange, for example, provides vitamin C plus some beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients.

All these compounds may work together to produce a beneficial effect on health.

• Basic Fiber: natural foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes provide dietary fiber, and most foods high in fiber are also rich in other essential nutrients. Fiber, eaten as part of a healthy diet, can help to prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and help control constipation.

• protective substances: natural foods contain other substances important for good health. For example, fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring substances called phytochemicals that may protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Many of these foods are also good sources of antioxidants, or substances that slow oxidation, which in turn, is a natural process that leads to cell damage and body tissues.


It is advisable to supplement the vitamins and minerals in some people with certain medical conditions. These supplements would be suitable for the following persons:

• Those who do not eat well or consume less than 1600 calories a day.

• Vegetarians, strict or not, they eat limited variety of foods.

• Those who do not eat two or three servings of fish per week. When it is difficult to reach that amount, some experts recommend adding fish oil to the diet.

• Women who experience heavy bleeding during menstruation.

• Those who have a disease that affects how the body absorbs nutrients, such as chronic diarrhea, food allergies, food intolerance, or liver disease, gallbladder, intestines or pancreas.

• People with surgery of the digestive tract can not digest or absorb nutrients well.

In short, if you are a fairly healthy person who eats a well-balanced and with a wide variety of foods diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, whole grains, legumes, lean meats and fish, most likely not need to take supplements.

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