Vitamins & Supplements: Do I need them?
Do we need vitamins? Yes. But do we need vitamin supplements? That depends.
But you need to be careful!
Did you know that you can take too many supplements? You’ve probably heard of a vitamin deficiency, but have you heard of a vitamin “overdose”? While it’s really unlikely to happen just by eating food, it absolutely can when supplements are involved.
There are safe and necessary amounts of each vitamin that adults and children need. Supplements can either help us reach these levels, or push us over. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what you are consuming and assess if supplements are actually the right choice for you.
You can speak to a local pharmacist via the Healthera App and discuss vitamin supplements, as well as get them delivered to your door.
Keep reading to find answers to the the most frequently asked questions about vitamins, minerals and supplements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vitamins are nutrients that your body needs to support normal cell function, growth, and development. There are several different vitamins, each of which have different specific functions.
Supplements in relation to vitamins are substances that you use to get additional nutrients. They contain levels of vitamins that can be used to ensure that you’re getting enough of what you need.
Supplements are generally safe. Unwanted side effects tend to come from having too high of a dose, taking too many different supplements, or taking supplements for vitamins that you already have more than enough of.
They can be. With a healthy, balanced diet, supplements can sometimes be added to bring additional benefits. Especially in cases where you are suffering from a vitamin deficiency.
The 13 essential vitamins we need are vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate)
Functions: helping your immune system, improving night vision, keeping skin healthy
Good Sources: cheese, eggs, oily fish, low-fat spreads, milk & yoghurt, liver
Amount Needed: 700 µg a day for men, 600 µg a day for women, stored: not needed daily
B vitamins and folic acid, click here to find out more information.
Functions: helping to protect cells, maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage, helping heal wounds
Good Sources: citrus fruit, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts, potatoes
Amount Needed: Adults aged 19 to 64 - 40mg of vitamin C a day, not stored: needed daily
Supplements may be needed... you are not able to get it from your diet that day
Functions: keeping bones, teeth and muscles healthy
Good Sources: Sun, oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks
Supplements may be needed... during Autumn and Winter months if you’re not getting enough from your diet.
Functions: maintaining healthy skin and eyes, strengthening the immune system
Good Sources: plant oils, nuts & seeds, wheatgerm
Amount Needed: 4mg a day for men, 3mg a day for women, not stored: needed daily
Functions: blood clotting, helping wound, vegetable oils, cereal grains
Good Sources: green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, cereal grains
Amount Needed: For adults 1 microgram a day for each kilogram of their body weight
Functions: building bones, keeping teeth healthy, regulating muscle contractions, helping blood clot normally
Good Sources: dairy, green leafy vegetables, bread and anything made with fortified flour, fish where you eat the bones
Amount Needed: 700mg a day for adults
Functions: keep cells and metabolic rate healthy
Good Sources: sea fish, shellfish
Amount Needed: 140 micrograms (μg) of iodine a day
Supplements may be needed... if you are following a strict vegan diet and/or not eating any fish
Functions: making red blood cells, that carry oxygen around the body
Good Sources: liver, red meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit, fortified breakfast cereals, soy bean flour
Amount Needed: 8.7mg a day for men over 18, 14.8mg a day for women aged 19 to 50, 8.7mg a day for women over 50
Supplements may be needed... if you lose a lot of blood during monthly periods
It’s important that you’re having all of the 13 most essential vitamins; vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate)
Healthera operates a leading healthcare marketplace that provides patients with medicines, healthcare services and products through the largest digital platform of pharmacies and GPs in the UK, including national chains and independent providers. Download Healthera App to order NHS repeat prescriptions online!