Take Vitamin Supplements

Many of us prefer to take vitamin supplements because we believe we are not receiving the right quantity of vitamins from our food. What you don’t discern is that utilizing a potent dosage of Vitamins may do more harm than any good.

Not only this, but vitamin supplements are also expensive.

Our kidneys flush out what our body doesn’t require. Therefore,  these expensive supplements end up right down the toilet.

As per Dr. Liz Green: ‘It’s invariably good to assure that you take these supplements only in the suggested daily amounts.’

Nonetheless, vitamin supplements are helpful for some patients. We asked the specialists to help us identify the deficiencies and guide us in preventing them.

Vitamin D

Our body creates most of our requirement of vitamin D in response to sunlight on our skin.  We also get it from food items like oily fish, eggs, margarine, etc.

Take Vitamin Supplements

The expert view

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) representative Priya Tew states: ‘It can be challenging in the UK to reach our vitamin D requirements through diet and sunlight alone. For that reason, it’s recommended that those above 65 years get a daily supplement of vitamin D. Also try to get out in the sunlight for 10-15 minutes a day.’

You can obtain vitamin D tablets at most pharmacies. But, do not to take higher than 25 mg per day. Also, remember to cover or protect your skin in case you’re out in the sunlight for long periods.


Iron plays an important role in our body. It helps to manufacture red blood cells which transport oxygen throughout the body.

Take Vitamin Supplements 1b

You can get all the iron from your everyday diet. It is present in red meat, eggs, pulses and beans, green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, and nuts and seeds.

The expert view

As per Dr. Liz Green: ‘Elderly patients should not be supplemented with iron unless there is an identified iron deficiency. This could be after an operation or if they have suffered blood loss.

‘Moreover, iron deficiency in those above 50 can be a sign of some health problem, which should be investigated fully.’

Luckily, there are several simple ways to increase iron intake without using a supplement. 

As per Priya Tew: ‘Drinking coffee and tea with a meal reduces the absorption of iron.”

‘To increase iron intake, have lots of vitamin C in diet and have a glassful of fruit juice amidst an iron-rich meal.’


Calcium is also an essential mineral for our body. This is so as it assists in building strong bones and helps the blood to clot. All milk products are a great source of calcium. You can also get it from fish like sardines, green leafy vegetables, and nuts.

The expert view

As per Priya Tew: ‘Consuming 3-4 servings of dairy products daily gives all the calcium needed by us.’

Calcium supplement in high doses can produce abdomen pain and diarrhea. It’s best to consult your GP before taking it. 

As per Dr. Liz Green: ‘Most people should use calcium supplements only if they have been prescribed by their GP. Normally, this is because there is an increased risk of multiple fractures, especially amongst frail patients.’

B12 vitamins

Take Vitamin Supplements


There are various types of vitamin B needed for different functions in our body. They perform the task of keeping us healthy and nourished.

Given that you have a well-balanced food, including cereals and whole grains, you would be taking all that you require. Vitamin B12 is seen in meat, milk, cheese, eggs, cod, salmon, and fortified cereals. As we get older, it becomes hard to absorb, thereby necessitating supplements.

People lacking Vitamin B12 are at enhanced risk of anemia and many other problems such as memory impairment.

The expert view

As per Priya Tew: ‘There’s striking evidence that older people have relatively more Vit B12 deficiency. An adequate diet of fortified breakfast cereals, meat and yeast extract can improve this.’

Supplement daily doses of up to 2mg are not likely to induce any harm in such cases. In fact, it leads to a happier disposition.

Vitamin C


Vitamin C supplements are known to ward off the common cold. While it’s correct that vitamin C helps to fight infections and disease, eating lots of vegetables and fruit would get all that you require.

The Expert View

As per Priya Trew: ‘Five or more servings of vegetables and fruit daily are all excellent sources of vitamin C.’ One of these could be fruit juices. Strawberries, Citrus fruit, as well as tomatoes and peppers, are all excellent sources of vitamin C.’





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