What Essential Vitamins and Supplements Do You Need Daily?

Nutritionists recommend that everyone should take a multivitamin supplement to ensure they are getting the essential vitamins and minerals they need for a healthy body. But what are the recommended daily doses of these vitamins and minerals? Men and women have different needs, and there are different ways to measure the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, and iron are all essential for good health. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin also known as retinol.

The RDA for women is 700 micrograms and 900 micrograms for men. Vitamin A is found in many dairy products and yellow or orange fruits and vegetables. The B vitamins make up the vitamin B complex, with different recommended daily doses. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that contains antioxidants that promote healthy tissue growth.

The RDA for men is 90 milligrams and 75 milligrams for women. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is activated by ultraviolet (UV) light. The RDA for children and adults is 15 micrograms (600 IU), while people age 70 and older should get 20 micrograms (800 IU).

Vitamin E is an important vitamin for organ function, with an RDA of 15 milligrams a day. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, avocados, spinach, seeds and nuts, and whole grains. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, with an RDA of 120 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women. This protein-rich vitamin is found primarily in green leafy vegetables.

Calcium is a mineral needed for healthy bone growth, with an RDA of 1000 milligrams for men and women aged 19 to 51; for women aged 51 and over and for men over 70 years old, it increases to 1200 milligrams per day. Iron helps carry oxygen in the blood; men and women should consume between 8 and 18 milligrams of iron a day. The Institute of Medicine has determined the upper limits for 24 nutrients. This table is for adults 19 years and older; it does not apply to pregnant or breastfeeding women who have different nutritional requirements.

It's important to know what essential vitamins and minerals you need, carefully evaluate your diet, and consider how your lifestyle and long-term health goals come into play. Remember that vitamins and supplements aren't meant to replace a healthy diet. Look for a supplement that contains the vitamin or mineral you need without a lot of other unnecessary ingredients. Taking high amounts of vitamin B6 for a year or more has been associated with nerve damage that can affect body movements (symptoms usually go away after you stop taking supplements).

Supplements can be used to get the recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy body. Excessive consumption of some vitamins and minerals can be harmful, so it's important to be aware of the upper limits set by the Institute of Medicine. There's also emerging science that supports the potential benefits of herbal and antioxidant supplements, which have shown results in certain cases. Supplements can also help people with Crohn's disease or celiac disease, conditions that make it difficult for certain nutrients to be absorbed. However, with thousands of products on the market, the process of choosing the right vitamins and supplements can be overwhelming. It's only recommended to start taking a supplement if you are sure that you are not currently meeting the RDI and are unlikely to exceed the UL.

There may also be side effects associated with certain supplements, such as increasing the risk of bleeding after an injury or changing the response to anesthesia during surgery.

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