1.2 mg vitamin B1, 400 mcg folic acid, 400 mg Magnesium, 1000 mg Calcium, 3500 mg Potassium, 18mg Iron, 400 IU Vitamin D, 30 IU Vitamin E, 6 mcg Vitamin B12, and 80 mcg Vitamin K, are not a prescription.
Vitamins are very crucial to our bodies.
Whether it is hormone secretion, muscles formation, nervous system functionality, digestion or bone formation, vitamins are working around the clock inside our bodies to help it function well.
However, it is not only the vitamin intake that matters, but it is also the amount of these intakes that makes all the difference.
As both too much or too little intake can have major side effects and complications on our bodies.
Obesity problems to fatigue, bone cracking, chronic disease like anemia, or fetus deformation are just some of the resulting problems.
It is very important to keep in mind though, that our bodies do not create the vitamins it needs.
It relies on our dietary intake to do the job.
Nevertheless, as a result of the wide variation of diets across the globe, vitamin intakes vary largely and hence our deficiencies are not the same.
Vitamin deficiencies around the globe
Vitamin A is responsible for growth, immunity, vision, red blood cell formation, skin formation, and reproduction.
This means most of the Asian populations suffer a 60% deficiency of vitamin A.
Besides, they also suffer thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, as per the US National Library of Medicine.
On the other hand, 38% of pregnant women around the globe suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency .
This vitamin is the one responsible for the higher rate of anemia detected in pregnant women.
While, cereal-dominant low protein dietary populations, that are particularly prevalent in Africa, parts of Asia and Latin American, are known for low Zinc intake.
Consequently, problems of immunity system, nervous system, protein formation, wound healing as well as taste and smell are very common in these areas.
There are also the countries that rarely get enough Sun like most of Europe, Canada and some part of the United States, suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
That is why they are particularly prone to undesired weight gains, frequent colds, general fatigue and sometimes even depression.
Despite all these variations, some vitamin deficiencies remain common across most of the population.
The most common vitamin deficiencies across the globe, however, are calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and vitamin A.
Energy-rich, nutrient-poor diet
Many people when they start keeping an eye over their weight, they keep a precise record of their daily caloric intake.
But is watching over calories enough for being healthy and vitamin in deficient?
The answer is typically “NO“.
Many diets that rely only on the calories intake leave people with so many chronic diseases including anemia.
On the other hand, diets that are energy-rich yet nutrient-poor could lead to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases as well as osteoporosis.
“Hidden Hunger” is a term used to describe diet plans that are rich in energy yet poor in nutrients.
As people feel filled because of the high-energy intakes, yet their bodies are silently suffering.
It is very common though across many cultures that people exceed their energy needs, while not meeting their nutrient requirements.
Due to a lot of bad habits and the reduced life-quality, people tend to rely mostly on sugar to stay active and focused.
Consequently, our attention to important nutrients is shifted because of their indirect impact on our levels of energy.
Vitamin Deficiencies Counter fight
It is very important to note that vitamin deficiencies could take years to be discovered.
Some are even mistaken as symptoms of other disease before they are actually treated.
Equally important though, is that our body requires different intakes of vitamin throughout its life cycle.
There are times when our bodies need more nutrients than provided by our diet, like during pregnancy or after the age of 50.
Eventually, more often than none, there will always be a time in our lives when we are vitamin deficient.
This is when we would need to resort to a concentrated intake to fix this deficiency.
As acquiring the required vitamin balance cannot be only done through nutrition.
Good news is that our dietary intake is not the only source of vitamins to our body, there is also vitamin supplements.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), issued by the US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that “nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods”.
It also indicate that in certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful in providing one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts.
Vitamin supplements are concentrated intakes that compensate our need for micro-nutrients.
They can either be supplements of a single vitamin or multivitamin supplements.
However, just like everything else, they come in different forms, products, and methods of use.
There are products for men, women, children and the elderly.
Supplements could also be of daily, weekly or monthly dosages.
They could also be oral, intramuscular injection or syrup.
Choosing which type to go with would depend on your condition and the doctor’s recommendation.
But one very important thing to take notice of is that supplements are not meant to be taken for a lifetime.
Except for few cases.
Because supplements do have a dark side to them as well.
The Dark Side of Supplements
As per some studies, the use of vitamin supplements or multivitamin was associated with sleep disturbance, insomnia, or deprivation altogether.
Not only vitamin B12 but also calcium, Selenium, Dodecanoic-Acid, Hexadecanoic.
Observed by many users though, taking vitamin B supplement at night caused their sleep deprivation.
Consequently, it led to chronic anxiety.
It wasn’t until they realized that their sleep stealer and stress booster was their vitamin supplement.
Not only vitamin B that could have bad implications for your health, but vitamin D is also known for its dangers.
Despite the many benefits of vitamin D, as well as its importance to our well-being, too much vitamin D could be toxicant.
Too much vitamin D could build up calcium in your blood which could lead to hypercalcemia.
This could lead to a series of undesired symptoms like vomiting, nausea, frequent urination, and stomach pain.
And even though many researches have tackled the subject of multivitamins, yet many health experts are still skeptic about its real benefits and question its use.
So, it is very important to keep a watchful eye over our bodies and to keep listening to its continuous messages.
Our bodies are smart enough to know what it needs, when it needs it and when to stop.
All we need to do is to listen carefully and follow precisely, and hence we would have little to be concerned about.
And when a new symptom starts to show, we just need to revisit our daily routine and check whether there has been any changes to it.
These changes could be the working hand behind the unpleasant symptom.
So bear them in mind before jumping to bigger concerns.
Nothing is completely good or bad, a wise is a person who knows how to take the best out of everything.
In a nutshell
Our body’s functions and processes rely heavily on our different vitamin intakes.
A healthy diet is a diet that provides the body with its daily requirements of micro-nutrients.
Such diet prevent deficiencies which compromise the quality of our lives.
Although our needs as humans to these micro-nutrients are the same, yet our vitamins intake varies heavily as per our dietary habits.
Our habits, however, are usually governed by where we come from.
Yet, no matter, how much effort we put in providing our bodies with its requirements of micro-nutrients, we can still suffer from deficiencies.
This could be through aging or other temporary changes like pregnancy.
That is why it is very important that we listen to our bodies all the time and watch out for signs of deficiencies, which could take years to appear.
However, over the course of these years, one could face a series of health deterioration and reduced quality of life.
When our diets fall short in providing us with what we need, vitamin supplements could come to rescue.
Coming in different uses, dosages, and intakes, vitamin supplements should be taken under medical supervision to limit its side effects.
Yet, there are some unpopular side effects to supplements that you should be aware of.
Sleep deprivation, hypercalcemia and anxiety could be among these watch outs.
When it comes to vitamin B, it is a good idea to take it during the morning rather than at night.
This way, you can make use of its positive impact on your mood and health, and avoid its interference with your sleep.