a handful of assorted medicines on a child s hands

MULTIVITAMINS, CALCIUM, AND IRON SUPPLEMENTS GOOD OR BAD?

Most of us take supplements in the form of multivitamins, vitamin D, Vitamin C, Calcium tablets, Iron tablets, or protein shake. But are they essential? Are these products help our health or effecting badly to us? You can read all about these in this article.

WHY DO WE TAKE SUPPLEMENTS?

There are varied reasons for eating supplements.

– When you are doing a different diet program, you take multivitamins, Vitamin C and D.

– Mostly men, who are following a specific gym regime for body build-up, take protein shakes, and multivitamins.

– After age 50years, women tend to take calcium and multivitamin supplements.

– In small children, if they are complaining of leg pain or loss of appetite, doctors advise them to take calcium and iron.

– In iron-deficiency anemia, a person takes iron supplements.

– Supplements are available to reduce the appetite or increase the appetite.

WHEN SUPPLEMENTS ARE NECESSARY?

There are such conditions, which need supplementation for better health.

– An anemic person, iron supplementation is necessary. But do not take it regularly for years. Follow the instruction of your doctor. Mostly 3-4 months are good for intake of iron tablets to increase Hemoglobin level in person.

– During pregnancy or prenatal care, folic acids are necessary. Study shows that deficiency of folic acid in mother leads to deformation of the brain and spinal cord growth in newborn.

– In menopausal age, Calcium supplementation is necessary to improve overall health. The North American Menopause Society published one report that states that calcium supplementation in menopausal age improves vitamin D and cholesterol levels in women.

– Person who has sedentary habits, needs Vitamin D. Sunlight is a source of vitamin D. If you are not going out in the early morning, you may suffer Vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, it is necessary to take Vitamin D daily or weekly once for 3-4 months.

– Person diagnosed with B12 deficiency should take Vitamin B12 for 3 months. Signs of B12 deficiency are tingling and numbness in the hands, and legs. Weakness, lethargy. Your blood test for B12 can show deficiency.

WHEN YOU CAN AVOID SUPPLEMENTS:

As mentioned above some disease conditions require supplements. But when you are healthy, you do not have any deficiency diseases then avoid multivitamins, calcium, and protein supplements.

The retrospective study published in PubMed about Vitamins concludes that’ Vitamin A, E, C, D supplements are not always effective for prevention of disease or cancer but can produce harmful effects on our health. Try to take vitamins which you have deficiencies.

During pregnancy do not take unnecessary multivitamin supplements. Consult your gynecologist for a proper nutrition plan.

In adolescent age, when a person tries to build a body. Do not use supplements, they may affect your hormonal cycle and your body development.

The retrospective study published in a PubMed about the effects of the dietary supplement on 977 young people shows, that the ‘use of dietary supplements produces harmful effects like hospitalization, disability, and death in young adults.’

When you are doing gym or diet programs, try to eat healthy food instead of taking supplements. Some diet programs offer formulated food in the name of natural organic food. Those are time-limited food; you cannot sustain your whole life on them.

ARE THEY HELPING US:

Studies show that supplements are not helpful to protect you from heart disease or increase your life span.

Most studies show that Vitamin A, C, K, and E are helpful for our health but only when we digest the vitamin-rich food.

They produce certain side effects:

  1. Digestion problems: Multivitamins, calcium, iron, and protein supplements induces constipation, diarrhea, or bloating of the abdomen.
  • Kidney problem: Pain during urination, dysuria, increase protein or creatinine in urine. If you eat protein powder in high quantities, it can affect your renal system. Try to drink more water if you are on weight gain supplements.
  • Liver health problem: Liver is a site for digestion and absorption of supplements. It is possible that long time intake of supplements affect liver tissues.
  • Heart disease: long intake of calcium, and vitamin D supplements produce harmful effects on your heart tissue. This may lead to heart stroke.

There is one article about the protein powder in  The Harvard Health which states that not all protein powders are safe to eat. There are protein powders that have excess sugar and calories and toxic material.

Before you buy any protein powder check the contents of the product, and studies related to that specific product; do not judge the product upon advertisements.

WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES?

Think like do our parents and grandparents have supplements? No. But they have a healthy lifestyle with a well-balanced diet. We need a balanced diet to fulfill the need of our body regarding vitamins, calcium, and iron.

– The best thing to do is eat healthy food. Include fruits, legumes, sprouts, salads, and limited nonveg in your food. Eat at least one seasonal fruit daily.

– Include sprouts in your lunch or dines.

– Eat one vegetable every day.

– Eat sunflower seeds, almonds, and peanuts which are a source of vitamins, Calcium.

– Eat 2-3 times a variety of meat per week. Like, include fish, eggs, and chicken in your food.

– Eat healthy fresh food and avoid supplements.

The following table can give you an overall idea, of which food and fruits are necessary to eat daily for good health. 

 I hope this article will help you to decide, whether supplements are good or bad for you.

Vitamin A : Mangoes, Carrot, Broccoli, Sweet potatoes, Spinach, Salmon, Egg yolk, and Papaya.

Vitamin C : Orange, Kiwi, Strawberry, Lemon, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, White potatoes.   

Vitamin D : Fish, Egg yolk, Fortified cereals, milk products, and orange juices.

Vitamin E : Nuts, Mangoes, Kiwi, Spinach, Bell pepper.        

Vitamin B complex : Egg, Salmon, Avocado, Spinach, Banana, Sunflower seeds, Fish oil, Nuts, and Rice.       
Iron (Hemoglobin) : Lentils, Tofu, Spinach, Egg, Chickpeas, Beans, Quinoa, and Raisins.        

Calcium: Yogurt, Tofu, Kale, Leafy green vegetables, Milk, Figs, Beans, and Dairy products.       

Zinc: Legumes, Chickpeas, Cashews, Meat, Oysters, Pumpkin Seeds, and Sesame seeds.       

Protein: Egg, Lentils, Quinoa, Tofu, Almonds, Nuts, Seeds, Chicken, Oats, Chickpeas, Edamame.    

Dr. Sujata Chougule, MD.: I am a homeopathy consultant and have 7 years of experience of online consultation. I am a yoga teacher and healthy food lover. Reading motivational, spiritual books are my hobbies. I am a health blogger and like to write in simple language for common people. 

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