As physicians, we are often asked, “What vitamins should I take?” The answer is that, nothing in life is simple. Most people benefit from taking the right nutritional supplements but to answer each person as to which vitamins they should take varies depending on the individual.
Taking a personalized approach to vitamins makes the most sense for a variety of reasons. In considering what vitamins to take you to need custom vitamins because:
- We are not all the same. We do not eat the same, live the same or have the same vitamin needs. The vegetarian, for example, may need to take more iron than the person who eats red meat every day.
- Who you are and your life stage may help determine your vitamin needs. A young woman who is actively preparing to get pregnant may need to take more folic acid than the average person. An older many benefit from vitamins geared toward heart health.
- Taking the wrong vitamins can be bad for your health if you do not need them. For example, vitamin A is a vitamin found in many generic multivitamins. However, most of us are not deficient in vitamin A. Taking supplemental vitamin A has been associated with cancer and osteoporosis. Therefore, if you are not someone who needs this vitamin based on your diet and health habits why take it?
- 4. Taking the right vitamins based on your lifestyle is the best way to help you feel your best. Some nutrients are even more important for those who exercise vigorously— magnesium and other key electrolytes aids muscle recovery and helps to prevent muscle cramping.
- Your family history can be useful to help you focus on the conditions you want to prevent. Things like Osteoporosis and heart disease may be addressed with certain key vitamins. Taking the right supplements along with lifestyle modifications can help prevent these conditions.
- Taking the right vitamins for your needs can help address specific concerns you may have such as thinning hair or migraine headaches. People often do not realize that these are complaints that may be caused by certain vitamin deficiencies.
- Taking the wrong doses of vitamins can be harmful to your health. For example, taking too much calcium can lead to kidney stones and also an association with heart disease and stroke. Many people can meet the majority of their calcium needs through diet, but this needs to be determined by asking the right questions about your diet (take our personalized vitamin quiz here).
- Taking personalized daily vitamins can ensure that you get exactly what you need and only what you need. In certain circumstances, personalized vitamins are doctor created (take our vitamin survey here). Just as, based on a series of questions, a doctor might ask you to help determine your exact vitamin needs.
- One size fits all vitamins assuming that we are all exactly the same. Yet it makes no sense that we would all have the same nutritional deficiencies. Even where we live impacts our vitamin needs—- people living in California get more sun exposure and often need less Vitamin D than those living in temperate climates.
- Taking the right vitamins determined by a personalized vitamin quiz is the best way to tailor your vitamin regimen to your lifestyle, diet and health concerns symptoms. We are not all the same. Personalized vitamins take your individual needs into account. If you listen to your body, you can take the right vitamins to help find your best health.