Whether it is because of a nutritional deficiency (for example, an iron deficiency), dietary choice, or desire to lead a healthier life, many people take nutritional supplements. These supplements can help those who may not have the time or resources to regulate their intake of certain vitamins or minerals. The most popular supplements include protein powder, vitamin D and vitamin E capsules, echinacea, and omega-3 (otherwise known as fish oil). Although supplements can be helpful, not every supplement is right for every person. Before taking a new supplement, it is important to consult with a doctor and consider the answers to the following eleven questions.
Are You Pregnant Or Planning To Become Pregnant?
Women who are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant are often advised to take a folic acid supplement before and during the first three months of pregnancy. This supplement contains a synthetic form of Vitamin B, also known as folate, which promotes healthy blood cell, spinal cord, and brain development in the baby. Health Canada recommends that pregnant women take a daily supplement that contains 0.4 milligrams of folic acid and between 0.16 milligrams and 0.20 milligrams of iron. Many women increase their intake of folic acid during months four to nine of their pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Doctors also recommend that pregnant women take vitamin D supplements throughout their pregnancy to optimize their bone health and that of their developing child.
Are You A Vegan Or Vegetarian?
People who are vegan or vegetarian you may be missing out on key nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin B12, iron, omega-3, and zinc. Deficiencies in these nutrients do not result from the diet itself but instead from how people plan and execute it. There is also a wide range of vegetarian diets, and each has its own implications for nutrient intake and absorption. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the largest organization of food and nutritional professionals, recommends those on a vegan or vegetarian diet take a vitamin B12 supplement at the very least. This vitamin helps the nervous system and blood cells function normally. It is found naturally only in animal products, which is why many people who maintain vegetarian or vegan diets do not get enough of it.