The most important vitamins and minerals

Research has proven the importance of these five supplements:

1. Multivitamin with minerals

This daily supplement may have health benefits when your diet lacks the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, report researchers in a 2014 issue of Nutrition Journal. Multivitamins appear to be safe and may also reduce the risk for cancer in men, according to research published in 2012 in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

For people who are generally healthy and eat a varied diet, it is recommended taking a multivitamin twice or three times a week to fill any nutritional gaps.

2. Fish oil

The UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition reviewed the evidence on the health benefits of fish in 2004. It said a “large body of evidence” suggests that fish consumption, particularly oily fish, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease – the biggest killer in the UK, can lower blood pressure and reduce fat build-up in the arteries. Read more here.

These supplements can thin your blood, however, check with your doctor if you are already taking blood thinners.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on several systems throughout the body.  The government says it has issued new vitamin D recommendations “to ensure that the majority of the UK population has satisfactory vitamin D blood levels throughout the year, in order to protect musculoskeletal health”. More about NHS guidline here.

A simple blood test can let you know if you need additional vitamin D. In addition to assisting with calcium absorption, vitamin D regulates the body’s levels of the mineral phosphorus, which helps promote healthy bones and teeth.

4. Calcium

Along with vitamin D, calcium supplements may help slow bone loss and prevent fractures, according to a review of data published in 2014 in BoneKEy Reports. In addition to building bones, calcium is necessary for the contraction and expansion of muscles and blood vessels, the secretion of hormones and enzymes, and nerve impulse transmission throughout your body.

5. Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic Acid

As you age, you need more vitamin B — found in animal products, such as fish, poultry, and milk — and may not get enough in your diet. Vitamin B deficiency may be associated with an increased risk for heart disease, changes in memory and thinking, dementia, and bone loss, according to a report published in 2013 in the Annals of Clinical Biochemistry.

 

To stay safe, consider all sources of vitamins and minerals when evaluating your total intake of essential nutrients each day.

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