Vitamins can be found in all food, and can be taken in pill, powder and liquid forms. They are necessary to achieve and maintain good health. If we don't obtain enough vitamins through diet or supplementation, deficiencies may occur. Whether you're on the go and lacking time to prepare balanced meals, or just want to give your diet that extra boost, supplementation is a convenient way to ensure your body is getting what it needs.
The food guide recommends everyone over the age of 50 should take a daily vitamin D supplement. This is especially relevant to people living in Canada! Vitamin supplements may also be required by certain groups of people who have special dietary concerns. Strict vegetarians may need vitamin supplements containing vitamins B12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and zinc if no animal products (milk, meats, eggs, cheeses) are eaten. Individuals with specific food allergies may also need a vitamin supplement. For example, someone with a milk allergy or who is lactose intolerant will likely need a calcium supplement. Women of childbearing age need to take a supplement containing 0.4 mg of folic acid together with a diet rich in foods containing folate to prevent birth defects. Pregnant women may need to take a prenatal multi-vitamin supplement if nutritional intake is inadequate. Older adults may also need a multi-vitamin supplement if a poor diet is consumed or if they are unable to eat certain foods. Individuals recovering from surgery or who have specific medical conditions may require a vitamin supplement to aid in recovery.