Can We Really Know what Vitamin and Mineral Supplements We Need?


Many of the ailments and illnesses we encounter can be at least partially attributed to deficiencies in certain vitamins or minerals, and one of the best ways to ensure this doesn’t happen is by taking vitamin, mineral and nutritional supplements. There are specific single item supplements available, complete or near complete multi vitamin supplements and certain specific product-based supplements which usually present a small selection of nutrients in a specific combination which may work in a particular way.

Everybody is Different

Diet will affect different people in different ways, and one of the difficulties with gaining the full daily requirements of vitamins and minerals from our food instead of vitamin supplements is that not only does everyone’s digestive system process and absorb nutrients from food in a slightly different way, but we all also use up all the various nutritional compounds at different rates and in different proportions. To add to the confusion, almost all the nutrients we require will be used up or processed at different rates depending on our activities at the time and also what other foods and substances are present in the digestive system when the vitamins or minerals are present. The levels of one vitamin may affect the absorption or usage of another.

Hard to Predict

 The infinite possibilities and combinations of factors make it impossible to predict exactly how our body chemistry will work at any time. Without getting regular, detailed blood analysis, we can only really be sure of having enough of any vitamin or mineral by making sure we have them all entering the body and hoping the body will use what it needs. Even with blood-work to tell us what’s there, we still cannot be exactly sure what the requirements for each nutrient may be. Nutritional supplements will hopefully cover you for unexpected nutritional requirements.

Other External Influences

 To make life even more complicated, different external influences change our requirements for vitamins supplements, for example variations in the amount of sunlight we receive changes the quantities of some vitamins that we synthesise ourselves, smoking and drinking both have been shown to significantly reduce some nutrient levels while increasing others.