Consult a healthcare professional when buying vitamins

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that serve a specific purpose and benefit the body in a unique way. For example, vitamin A supports vision and bone growth, whereas vitamin E strengthens the immune system and helps repair DNA. Vitamin and mineral deficiency can impair the body’s ability to heal and protect itself.

Taking vitamins does not make up for an unhealthy diet, and vitamins are an insufficient substitute for nutrients from fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Most vitamins must be obtained from the diet as the body cannot make them, however a general multivitamin and mineral supplement can be a good safeguard against periodic vitamin shortfalls in your diet.

Vitamins fall into two categories. Water-soluble vitamins (B group and C ) are easily absorbed by the body, which does not store large amounts. Excess water-soluble vitamins are not used in the body and are excreted in the urine. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K ) are absorbed and stored in the body for use as needed.

Before buying a dietary supplement consider sound health advice which is generally based on research over time, not a single study or quick fix that departs from established dietary advice or scientific research. Some products can be harmful when taken in high amounts, for a long time, or in combination with other substances. Also learn to spot false claims—if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If in doubt consult a healthcare professional who will be able to assist with any misconceptions. You can get advice from Rowlands Pharmacy, Main Street, Castlebar. Tel: 094 902 6427.

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