With the growing awareness of one’s health, many people may have started looking into the use of supplements for getting their nutrients. But should we all be using supplements? Who should actually be using supplements?
It is recommended to eat according to Canada’s Food Guide to meet your nutrient needs. However, this may not be applicable for everyone – specific groups of people may require the use of supplements to meet their needs. Supplements are recommended for certain age and gender groups according to Canada’s Food Guide. For example, women of reproductive age are recommended a folic acid supplement of 0.4 mg; pregnant women are recommended a 16-20 mg iron and 0.6 mg folic acid supplement; adults over 50 years of age are recommended a 10 mcg (400 IU) vitamin D supplement. People following restricted diets, such as vegetarianism, may require iron supplements since their iron needs would be higher. Although there are recommendations for supplement use for specific age and gender groups, it is also important to consider the risks. Be aware of the units and how much you are taking! High doses of certain vitamins and minerals can be toxic for your health. For example, 3000 mg of vitamin C may cause diarrhea.
Too much or too little is never a good thing and that is why moderation is key! It is also important to keep in mind that eating a diet filled with variety and nutrient-dense foods is the recommended way of obtaining nutrients for good health.
“Do I Need a Vitamin or Mineral Supplement?” Dietitians of Canada. Web. 29 Apr. 2016. <http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Supplements/Do-I-Need-a-Supplement-.aspx>
“How to Choose a Multivitamin” Dietitians of Canada. Web. 29 Apr. 2016. <http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Supplements/Choose-a-Multivitamin.aspx>