How Do Vitamins And Dietary Supplements Work?

Walk in to any store and head to the vitamin dietary supplement aisle, and you are sure to see so many products, it might make your head spin a little. The choices available are many, but often it is hard to know what to buy. One of the best ways to figure out the right supplements for you, is by beginning to understand how they work

Why We Need Vitamins

Vitamins and dietary supplements like zinc and vitamin B12 are very common, and most people are familiar with them. However, most people don’t know why they need them, or if they need them at all.

The body needs vitamins to maintain proper cell function and, well, keep you alive.  The body doesn’t produce its own vitamins and must get them from the food we eat, thus the importance of a well balanced diet.  However, some of us still just don’t get the necessary vitamins our body needs to operate efficiently.  When a body is operating efficiently, then the metabolism is working to the best of its ability, and that will help with weight loss.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, in particular, can boost the metabolism and is important to the central nervous system.  The recommended dose of vitamin B12 in adult women is 2.4 micrograms.  This can be achieved from eating animal products, such as eggs and meat.  However, vitamin B12 supplements are necessary for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Zinc and Magnesium

Like vitamin B12, zinc and magnesium are found in many foods that people normally ingest.  However, there are times where people do not get enough zinc or magnesium to allow their bodies to work properly. 

Zinc helps the body’s immunes system and is very involved in the cellular metabolism of the body.  Magnesium, on the other hand, is involved in over 300 biochemical body reactions and is being investigated for a possible role in managing or preventing diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

The recommended intake of Zinc is 8 mg, and the recommended intake of magnesium is 320 mg in women over 31. 

Magnesium can be found in foods like:

  • halibut
  • dry roasted almonds 
  • spinach 

Zinc is found in:

  • crab
  • baked beans 
  • yogurt 

Again, supplements are often necessary for those on vegan and vegetarian diets. 

Importance of Dietary Supplements

Most people who eat a balanced diet get the vitamins they need.  For instance, chromium is only needed in trace amounts and is found in a wide variety of food such as broccoli.  When people are not eating balanced diets, that is when the body begins to crave certain foods. It is the body’s way of trying to get all the necessary nutrients to run efficiently. 

Unfortunately, in our society, eating a well balanced diet, and making sure that we are eating all the necessary things to get the proper daily amounts of vitamins and minerals, can be challenging.  That is why there are so many dietary supplements and vitamins available.  The supplements act as a great back up plan to help the body get in balance. 

Dietary supplements do just that.  They supplement your diet and help your body to work at its most efficient level.  By supplementing your diet with the vitamins you find at the store, you can help maintain proper cell function, which in turn, allows your metabolism and the rest of your body to operate at the best of its ability.


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