Intestinal bacteria usually produce more Vitamin B7 than the body needs on a daily basis. Vitamin B7 helps the body breakdown proteins, carbohydrates and fats and aids in the production of glucose. Biotin may help to keep skin, hair and nails healthy and is found in many cosmetic products. They’re suitable for anyone who’s not getting their recommended daily amount from their diet or has discovered deficiencies with specific tests. It’s particularly important for people eating specific types of diets, such as vegans and vegetarians, to make sure they’re getting enough of certain vitamins either through their diet or through supplementation. In the UK, it’s recommended to take a Vitamin D supplement between the months of October and March.
But studies show this only affects the absorption of nutrients eaten at the same meal. Magnesium absorption will be ‘seriously affected if the calcium dose is much higher than the magnesium dose’, says Lindsy. But Lindsy Kass says that, while the liposomal delivery works, ‘a standard supplement will give you more than enough vitamin C’. These help nutrients get through the gut wall and into the bloodstream. Zinc is another nutrient that can compete with iron because both minerals need to attach to the same ‘transporter molecules’ in the gut. Each year Britons spend around £442 million on vitamin and mineral supplements, with nearly half of the population buying them regularly.
Eating too much fat too often can lead to weight gain and other health problems. While folic acid is the synthetic version of vitamin B9, which is what’s found in fortified foods and supplements. Vitamin B9 is essential for making red blood cells, which are vital for energy. Vitamin K is a group of vitamins essential for blood clotting and bone health. You should get all the vitamin K your body needs by eating a varied and balanced diet with lots of green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, and some fruits.
Between April and September, the majority of people aged 5 years and above will probably get enough vitamin D from sunlight when they are outdoors. They might choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months. Fat-soluble vitamins are mainly found in foods that are high in natural fat – such as dairy, eggs and oily fish. Most of us eat too many food products containing free sugars.
And look for supplements with calcium citrate, ‘which studies have shown is better absorbed by the gut than other cheaper forms of calcium such as calcium carbonate’, he adds. Often, the calcium is combined in a pill with magnesium, which is also good for bones. In fact, calcium and magnesium work together in some ways but also compete for absorption in the gut.
Vegans or people who are lactose intolerant may struggle to get enough vitamin D and calcium because they are avoiding dairy products, so they could potentially benefit from vitamins. Find out more about vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy. Many parents choose to give their children vitamins to boost their immunity in the winter, and some studies have shown that vitamin C may help defend against and fight viral and bacterial infections. Some laboratory and animal studies have also found that vitamin E may help to treat osteoarthritis by stimulating the growth of cartilage cells. Other studies have found that it has some anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies also suggest that too much calcium with too little magnesium may contribute to calcification of the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Ideally, no more than 5% of the energy we consume should come from free sugars. Currently, children and adults across the UK are consuming 2 to 3 times this amount. While your body needs these vitamins to work properly, you don’t need to eat foods containing them every day. If you’re worried you might have a vitamin deficiency, it’s possible to check some of your vitamin levels with a vitamins blood test. When sunlight levels are low during winter, Public Health England advises everyone to consider taking a 10 mcg daily vitamin D supplement to prevent low vitamin D levels from October to March.
Because calcium and magnesium can compete for absorption, if you’re taking both check the ratio — you should take roughly twice as much calcium as magnesium. As well as being useful for bone health, if you’re taking calcium, there is evidence that magnesium may help ease anxiety, restless legs, muscle cramps, migraine and improve overall sleep. A poor diet or medication such as antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria, helping bad ones thrive, which increases the risk of gut infections or digestion problems.