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It has been estimated that as many as three in ten Americans take at least one type of vitamin.

With this widespread interest in the use of vitamin supplements to improve health and brain development in children, it is no wonder that there is also a lot of interest in the best vitamin supplements. However, we should think about one thing - do children and adults actually need vitamin supplements at all? Studies on the safety and effectiveness of vitamin supplements have been somewhat inconclusive. While one study may show a clear benefit among those taking a particular kind of vitamin supplement, another study may fail to show any benefits. With all this contradictory evidence, it is often difficult to find out what really works and what type of vitamin supplement you might need and if there were more pros or cons of oral vitamin intake.

Fallacies about vitamin supplements

There are certainly some fallacies regarding vitamin supplements out there, with one of the biggest being that they are a cure-all for every condition and every disease. There is no one vitamin pill, nutritional supplement or combination of vitamin supplements that will protect the consumer against every disease. It is also not possible for oral vitamin intake to provide optimum health. Another great fallacy about vitamin supplements is that they can make up for a poor diet, because nothing could be further from the truth. Proper nutrition has always been and always will be the cornerstone of health and wellbeing. Vitamin supplements may be able to provide a much needed boost to health, but they are not intended to be and should not be used as a replacement for a well-rounded diet.

Pros and cons of oral vitamin intake

There are many pros and cons of vitamin supplements, both for children and adults. One of the greatest concerns is knowing what the vitamin supplement you are taking really contains.
The quality and quantity of the ingredients contained in vitamin supplements can vary widely between brands and manufacturers. Therefore, finding a top quality brand, made with only the best, quality-tested ingredients, should be a significant part of your vitamin supplement shopping. Ensuring the safety and effectiveness is important anytime you are considering oral vitamin supplements as well. Controlled studies of the same vitamin supplement have often yielded seemingly contradictory results. That is why it is important to read up often on the supplements you are taking. Always take stock of any new information you find, and always be sure to inform your doctor about any vitamins or nutritional supplements you are considering to take.

What is the best vitamin supplement for children?

All these guidelines are even more important when discussing nutritional supplements for children, since they have different metabolisms and different nutritional requirements than adults. The vitamin supplements needed by adults may not be necessary for children. Again, always discuss nutritional supplements or vitamin needs with your pediatrician before making any decisions on your own. The doctor can help you decide what type of vitamin supplement is best for your child. The question whether or not children need vitamin supplements is still very much up in the air. Your pediatrician will have access to the most complete information on this still controversial subject.

There are a number of positive and negative sides to oral vitamin supplements. You may find yourself reading articles and watching adverts that claim vitamin supplements are the best thing since sliced bread. They could claim it is a cure for everything and a suitable alternative for a diet that is rich in nutritional value. However, there are both pros and cons. They are certainly not an alternative for good health and good diet.

Whether you are taking vitamin supplements, fiber supplements, acid supplements, or any other type of supplement, it is important to follow direction with regards to dosage and frequency for optimum benefit you could get. It is also important to consider all the pros and cons of a vitamin supplement before you start using it.

These supplements can benefit users that take them in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, they should not be considered an alternative. Many people experience the pros of these supplements if they use them correctly and do not try and replace a healthy lifestyle and diet with these vitamins. Those that experience the cons are those that do not take them as directed. These people commonly think that the supplements mean that they can eat a poor diet and follow an unhealthy lifestyle.

Why is it important to buy high quality?

In order to truly benefit from supplements, you need to know what the supplement actually contains. This means buying quality supplements that meet strict safety standards. Not all supplements are the same. Some may use lower-quality ingredients and different amounts of ingredient to others. Buying quality products that have met the necessary standards will ensure that you enjoy safe and effective benefits. In fact, a growing number of medical experts are concerned that Americans are overdoing their vitamin consumption. As many as 70 percent of the population is taking supplements, mostly oral vitamins, convinced that the pills will make them healthier. However, researchers say that vitamin supplements cannot make up for a poor diet.
Multivitamins have not been shown to prevent any disease, and the fact that it is easy to reach high doses of certain vitamins and minerals can actually increase the risk of certain diseases. Experts say that they are no longer concerned about vitamin deficit. Those are almost unheard of today, even with the population eating less than ideal diets and skimping on the fruits and vegetables. Instead, the concern is with the dangers of vitamin excess, or too much of vitamin intake. There has been a transition from focusing on minimum needs to the reality that today our problem is excess. Excess calories and excesses of vitamins and minerals as well. For some supplements, including vitamin A, the difference between the recommended dose and a dose that could lead to negative outcomes like osteoporosis was not large.

Popular multivitamins often contain what could be risky doses for people. Certainly, by consuming supplements, people can reach that level. Doctors who once told patients that multivitamins were, at worst, a waste of money now say they are questioning this idea. With vitamin A in particular, it is easy to step over the edge into a danger zone. You can be eating total cereal, drinking fortified milk, taking a multivitamin, and get into a situation where you are getting more than you need. Until recently, there was so little concern about vitamin A and bone health. Now we have to rethink these issues. Similar questions are being raised about other vitamins and minerals, notably iron and vitamins E and C as the main oral vitamin supplements.

Researchers say the questions involve multivitamins taken by healthy people, and not specific vitamins or minerals taken by groups with specific needs. Some elderly people, for example, may be deficient in vitamin B12 because they lose their ability to absorb it from foods. There are people who spend little time outdoors and may require vitamin D, which the skin makes when it is exposed to sunlight. Even when older people are in the sun, aging skin loses much of its ability to synthesize that vitamin. Pregnant women who do not receive enough folic acid, a vitamin in fruits and vegetables that is added to enriched flour, are under increased risk of having babies with neural tube defects. Because the vitamin is needed at the very start of pregnancy, some advocate folic acid supplements for all who might become pregnant, only to be sure they are protected.

Are vitamins recommended or not?

For most people the issue is not vitamin deficiency. Instead, nutrition researchers ask if people eating relatively healthy diets with fresh fruits and vegetables and not too many calories or fats would benefit from multivitamins or other supplements. They wonder if those with abysmal diets, heavy on fast foods and lacking in fruits and vegetables would make up for some deficits if they would take multivitamin pills. They came to conclude that usually multivitamins or individual vitamins and minerals, and only 40 percent take them regularly. Some researches said that most people would benefit from taking a multivitamin every day, insuring adequate and even generous intake of all the nutrients.

The most popular individual supplements are vitamins C and E. Scientists once thought those vitamins could help prevent ailments like cancer and heart disease, but rigorous studies found no such effects. Actually, vitamin E supplements can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and studies of vitamin C supplements consistently failed to show that it had any beneficial effects.

The two vitamins that are the least needed are the ones most often taken. Excess vitamin C is excreted in the urine, but excesses of some other vitamins are stored in fat. The problem is what these stored vitamins build up in these tissues. Of particular concern, researchers say, is vitamin A, which is found in the liver, and small amounts are added to milk. However, for most people who are reaching worrisome levels, the main sources are supplements, multivitamins, nutrition bars, health drinks and cereals.