Dietary intake of vitamin C (from food and drink) is essential, as the human body cannot produce this vitamin from other compounds. We also need to have vitamin C as a regular part of our diet because the body can't store vitamin C for long. Adults need about 45 mg of vitamin C a day and any excess amount (greater than 200 mg) is excreted. The onset of scurvy symptoms depends on how long it takes for a person to exhaust their limited vitamin C stores.
Vitamin D is important for bone strength, muscle strength and overall health. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is needed to produce vitamin D in the skin and is the best natural source of vitamin D. Regular physical activity also helps the body's production of vitamin D. The body can only absorb small amounts of vitamin D.
Treatment options include better exposure to sunlight, diet, exercise, and vitamin and mineral supplements. If you're concerned about vitamin D levels, see your family doctor. Your family doctor may recommend vitamin D supplements, which must be taken strictly as directed. Zinc also helps produce the active form of vitamin A and carries it throughout the body.
Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can be locked up in the liver and body fat and stored for a long time. Water-soluble vitamins, including B-complex and vitamin C, are mostly only stored for a shorter period of time. A vitamin deficiency takes weeks or months before it affects your health. For example, they would go months without vitamin C before developing scurvy.
Just keep in mind that there's a small risk that consuming large amounts of some of these micronutrients through supplements could be very harmful. Products sold as dietary supplements come with a supplement information label that indicates the active ingredients, the amount per serving (dose), and other ingredients, such as fillers, binders, and flavors. The FDA has established good manufacturing practices (GMP) that companies must follow to ensure the identity, purity, concentration, and composition of their dietary supplements. Some dietary supplements can help you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients if you don't eat a nutritious variety of foods.
Under certain circumstances, vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended to correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies, such as folate, for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. By assisting in the development and delivery of innovative, world-leading pill-free supplements, from concept to launch, Emily plays a critical role in the brand's new product portfolio. If you think you've had an adverse reaction to a dietary supplement, let your healthcare provider know. If the FDA determines that a dietary supplement is unsafe, it can recall the product from the market or ask the manufacturer to voluntarily recall the product.
This fact sheet from the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides information that should not replace medical advice. Remember, supplements are a short-term measure and should only be taken on the advice of your doctor or a dietitian. Also, be careful when giving supplements to a child, unless recommended by your healthcare provider. The FDA is the federal agency that oversees both supplements and medications, but the FDA regulations for dietary supplements are different from those for prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
The federal government can take legal action against companies and websites that sell dietary supplements when companies make false or misleading statements about their products, if they promote them as treatments or cures for diseases, or if their products are not safe. Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, gummies and powders, as well as energy drinks and bars. Supplement companies are responsible for having proof that their products are safe, and the claims on the label are true and not misleading. Manufacturers may say, for example, that a supplement promotes health or supports a part or function of the body (such as heart health or immune system).