Best Vitamin Source – Supplementation Or Diet?

In the 1930s a revolution took place. The first vitamins were sold commercially, allowing people to supplement their daily diet with vitamin intake. Before that, any vitamins consumed were part of the food we ate. Some people suffered with vitamin deficiencies because their diets weren’t broad enough to cover what the body requires to work at optimum levels. Swallowing a Vitamin C pill or chewing a gummy full of vitamins is certainly an easy way to ensure our daily intake.  But, have we gone astray by including these supplements in our diets?

What Is The Difference Between Vitamin Supplements And Vitamins In Food?

Molecularly, there is no difference between a vitamin in a supplement and a vitamin consumed as food. However, vitamins cannot be taken on their own. Food and water are required for the body to effectively absorb them.


Today’s vitamin supplements come in all kinds of forms, from pills to liquids or powdered mixes.  Many people assume that by simply taking vitamins with enough water to get them down and running out the door, they are good-to-go until later in the day. This isn’t the best method for getting the required vitamins. In fact, it may cause more harm than good in the long run.  Remember, for them to work properly, they need to be taken with food and water.

Can There Be Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Most people fall prey to the idea that if something is good, a lot of it will be better.  However, there is a limit to the helpfulness of vitamins. Hyper-dosing on vitamins will not make you healthier, yet people do it all the time, especially with vitamin C. At the onset of a cold, many will take a hyper-dose of vitamin C. Some will go so far as to overtake vitamin C for the length of the cold which can be anywhere from 3 to 10 days.  This is not beneficial and in fact leads to stress on your kidneys and liver as these organs try to filter the excess, most of which ends up in the urine stream as waste.


What Is The Best Way To Take Vitamins?

The best method for getting your daily intake of vitamins is through a healthy and balanced diet. However, with our on-the-go lives, eating properly every day is difficult at best. When vitamins are taken, make sure not to overdo any one particular supplement.  You aren’t doing your body or your wallet any favors by taking supplements in excess.

Which Vitamins Do I Take?

There are so many choices now, it’s almost overwhelming. Seeking advice from family or friends will get you as many different answers as there are people in your life. First, seek council from your doctor.  Many doctors recommend a daily multi-vitamin supplement when the patient is in overall good health but may be too busy to slow down and eat correctly on a daily basis. Several brands are formulated for specific age groups and gender.


How Would I Know If I Need More Vitamins In My Diet?

We all know that extreme vitamin deficiencies cause such diseases as beriberi, pellagra, scurvy and rickets. However, vitamin deficiencies don’t have to be extreme to lead to problems which may seem minor at first but can be a pretty big plague on your life as time goes by. Indicators that you may not be getting enough vitamins include:

  • aches
  • cramps
  • skin problems
  • changes in appetite
  • unusual weight loss or gain
  • unusual drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • headaches

If you suspect you are vitamin deficient, please see a doctor as soon as possible. It’s better to be sure than start randomly taking supplements.


What Are The Best Ways To Get More Vitamins?

There are two ways. The first and most recommended method is to carefully monitor your food intake, making any changes necessary to ensure you’re getting what your body requires. This method may require seeing a nutritionist, especially if you are at a loss for where to begin or even how to prepare foods.

The second method is to supplement your diet with vitamins or multivitamins. You can choose individual supplements that you’re aware you need or a general multivitamin to cover all the bases.


Word of advice:  Always purchase vitamins from a reputable producer or retailer. If you’re buying online, make sure you’re using a well-known site – cheap vitamins from a little-known website could be a red flag. Plus, you can reduce the cost burden by looking for coupons or research for price comparisons between different reputable retailers.

The main thing is to be aware of your body’s requirements and not let deficiencies take hold. By eating regular healthy meals with a variety of foods, you should all right. If you feel you need to shore up a specific vitamin, please see your physician and get started as soon as possible.