A Beginner's Guide to Taking Vitamins for the First Time

If you are concerned about the effectiveness of your diet to meet your dietary needs, you may want to consider taking vitamins. Vitamins typically provide you with at least 100% of your total daily requirements, making them a great choice for people who may be deficient. If you have never taken vitamins before, be sure to keep some basic guidelines in mind in order to achieve optimal results.

Talk with Your Doctor

Typically, unless you are suffering from a severe vitamin deficiency, the best way to get all of the necessary vitamins and minerals is through a balanced diet. In fact, research has found that some vitamin supplementation may actually be harmful when taken in too large of doses. Be sure to talk with your doctor, nurse or health care provider before choosing a vitamin or multivitamin. They should not only be able to recommend good brands of vitamins, but may also be able to offer some suggestions that can help you get enough of all important vitamins and minerals without needing to take a synthesized drug. Often, your doctor will refer you to a registered dietitian, who has more knowledge in this area, and can give you lots of good suggestions regarding foods, vitamins and supplements.

Determine What Vitamins You Need to Be Taking

If you and your health care team determine that it is important for you to be taking vitamins, you next step is to determine exactly what vitamins you should be supplementing with. Often, people take a multivitamin as a sort of “catch-all.” They believe that getting high amounts of all of the vitamins and minerals contained in these supplements will help them to cover their bases. However, as described above, having too much of particular vitamins and minerals in your system may actually be toxic.

Ask your doctor to run some tests on you to determine exactly which vitamins you are deficient in. Once you get the results back, you can make an educated decision on what type of vitamin supplement you should choose. If you are, in fact, deficient in a high amount of vitamins, it may actually be best for you to take a multivitamin. If, however, you are only deficient in one or two vitamins, try finding individuals bottles of these specific vitamins. This way, you won’t be wasting your hard-earned money, and you can be sure that your body is getting only what it needs.

Do Your Research

Finally, be sure to do your research before selecting a vitamin. Currently, neither the USDA nor the FDA regulates vitamins or minerals. This means that anyone could put anything in a bottle and claim that it is a multivitamin. Try to gather as much information as possible about the brands of vitamins you are considering purchasing before making a final decision. This can not only help you maintain good health, but will also make you a more informed consumer.


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