It is true that healthy people don’t need vitamins to stay healthy, but many healthy people have multiple risk factors for vitamin deficiencies and should be on high alert in case these deficiency symptoms set in.
There is an infinite amount of ways vitamin deficiencies can manifest in our bodies and our genetic makeup determines how they will show up. Often times vitamin deficiencies can be detected from a simple blood test at an annual doctor visit. Many deficiencies show up as anemia. Red blood cells only live 3 months and so our body is constantly making new red blood cells. Some of the vitamins are building blocks for red blood cells. If there is a vitamin deficiency, a doctor could easily detect it from an abnormality in the red blood cells.
Sometimes well-nourished people with healthy diets get vitamin deficiency because they have difficulty absorbing the micronutrients due to chronic diarrhea, celiac disease, or other diseases of the intestines and stomach.
Another place that vitamin deficiencies show up is the mouth and the skin. Our bodies are always making new cells on the exterior of our bodies. When we do not have enough vitamins to keep up with the production we can get sores in our mouth, tongue, corners of our lips. Also, unexplained bad skin, dark blotchy spots, or acne can be a sign of a nutrient deficiency.
If you find that you are NOT on the list of people who are at risk of developing a vitamin deficiency and you do not have any symptoms of a vitamin deficiency, then you probably will not benefit from vitamin consumption, and you are at risk of ruining your perfect health from consuming artificial vitamins. (reference when good pills do bad things). Whole food is the best source of vitamins. In healthy, young people whole food delivers the perfect amount of vitamins that our bodies need.
Vitamins levels that are too high, or too low can cause health problems. The solution is maintaining adequate levels in the middle. (3)
WHO IS AT RISK FOR VITAMIN DEFICIENCIES?
|PEOPLE WHO:||CAN BENEFIT FROM TAKING:|
|Eat poor or impoverished diets typical of third-world countries or in institutions like prisons.||Magnesium, B12, vitamin D, and vitamin C (depending on how severe the diet and condition)|
|Do not eat fruits or vegetables||Magnesium, vitamin C|
|Strict vegetarians||vitamin B12 and Zinc|
|Gastric bypass surgery||All the vitamins, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium|
|Crohn’s disease, colitis, or celiac disease||At the risk of all multivitamin deficiencies|
|Regularly consumer alcohol||Most commonly vitamin B12, folic acid, thiamin, magnesium|
|Are on lifelong medications for chronic conditions such as heartburn, diabetes, or seizures||vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium|
|Are pregnant||multivitamin, extra folic acid, maybe calcium, iron|
|Are over 50||vitamin B12, Magnesium, Vitamin D|
|Athletes, marathon runners, anyone in constant motion for long periods who are unable to restore their vitamins levels through diet and are at risk of dehydration||vitamin C, B vitamins, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium|
|Smokers, exposure to second-hand smoke and other toxins||vitamin C|
|Those on dialysis||Depends on lab work — Never take any new vitamin without consulting your doctor|
|Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, laxative abusers||Potentially all the essential nutrients, but especially potassium|
|Genetic disorders involving vitamins||There are many and they are specific to the disease.|
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF VITAMIN DEFICIENCY?
|IF YOU HAVE:||YOU COULD HAVE A DEFICIENCY IN:|
|Frequent nose bleeds, bleeding of the gums, weird bruising or bleeding under the skin||vitamin C, vitamin K|
|Frequent colds and lung infections||Any vitamin (D, B12) magnesium, iron|
|Skin defects, acne, bumps, discolorations||vitamin C, niacin, vitamin A, zinc, B12|
|Defects in the mouth and tongue||vitamin C, B12, and vitamin|
|Loose teeth that fall out easily||vitamin C|
|Defects in hair||vitamin D, biotin, possibly others|
|Defects in nails||Too much zinc or too little calcium, Vitamin D, possibly others|
|Low energy||Any vitamin, magnesium, or iron|
|Dry or irritated eyes, night blindness||vitamin A or vitamin E|
|Chronic anemia without bleeding: The hallmark of poor intestinal absorption||iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C|
For more reading material on the subject of vitamins, I suggest the NIH website and Medline plus. These websites have no tricky advertisements and have no intention to sell you anything. The information they contain is gathered by teams of medical experts who analyze the medical studies and discussed the information.
1.) National Institute of Health/Office of Dietary Supplements: Multivitamin/mineral Supplements, Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/MVMS-HealthProfessional/
2.) When Good Pills Do Bad Things, published online Pharmacy Times Magazine http://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/gunda-siska-pharmd/2017/05/when-good-pills-do-bad-things-vitamins-and-minerals-with-upper-limits
3.) What the FDA says about vitamins, published online Pharmacy times magazine