In our earlier article we had a look at some dietary supplements that are actually beneficial for you.
If you’re generally healthy and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and fish, you likely don’t need supplements.
However, the dietary guidelines recommend supplements — or fortified foods — in the following situations:
- Women who may become pregnant should get 400 micrograms a day of folic acid from fortified foods or supplements, in addition to eating foods that naturally contain folate.
- Women who are pregnant should take a prenatal vitamin that includes iron or a separate iron supplement.
- Adults age 50 or older should eat foods fortified with vitamin B-12, such as fortified cereals, or take a multivitamin that contains B-12 or a separate B-12 supplement.
- Adults age 65 and older who do not live in assisted living or nursing homes should take 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily to reduce the risk of falls.
- With the current statistics most Indians are now susceptible to both vitamin D and B12 deficiency. It is important to verify levels and start supplementation under Doctor’s supervision.
Dietary supplements may also be appropriate if you:
- Are unable to eat well or consume less than 1,600 calories a day due to some kind of infirmity
- Are a vegan or a vegetarian who eats a limited variety of foods.
- Don’t obtain two to three servings of fish a week. If you have difficulty achieving this amount, some experts recommend adding a fish oil supplement to your daily regimen.
- Are a woman who experiences heavy bleeding during your menstrual period.
- Have a medical condition that affects how your body absorbs or uses nutrients, such as chronic diarrhea, food allergies, food intolerance, or a disease of the liver, gallbladder, intestines or pancreas.
- Have had surgery on your digestive tract and are not able to digest and absorb nutrients properly
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