Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that are responsible for many life-sustaining biological processes, such as the production of red blood cells or the activation of B-1 vitamins. People may need to take a supplement to meet their daily requirements if they do not consume enough from adequate food sources. However, to ensure safety and efficacy, supplements should be used under the guidance of a doctor or registered dietician. A balanced diet is made up of a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Each vitamin and mineral plays a different role in bodily processes.
If there are certain vitamins, minerals, or other dietary components that you may want to take, it is possible that you could get enough of those nutrients through a varied diet. However, if you are on any kind of restrictive diet, such as vegetarianism or medical conditions that restrict the foods you can eat, it is possible that you may need to take a supplement.
Vitamin And Mineral Intake Per Day
The daily recommended intake of vitamins and minerals is based on the average nutrition requirements of healthy adults. The values are based on what is needed to maintain health and provide all the nutrients needed by perfectly healthy individuals, at a level found to be adequate under all circumstances. People vary in how many vitamins and minerals they need. The FDA sets out a recommended Daily Value (DV), which applies to most healthy people. However, some individuals may still require more or less than this amount, depending on their health and specific nutrient needs. To prevent nutrient deficiencies, it is necessary for adults to get enough of these micronutrients in their diets every day.
Vitamin Daily Value Chart
Vitamins are essential nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. We need vitamins to help us build and repair cells, make new skin, fight infections, and save energy when we are active. The FDA talks about how much most healthy people consume the following amounts of vitamins:
|biotin||30 micrograms (mcg)|
|folate, or folic acid||400 mcg of dietary folate equivalents|
|niacin||16 milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalents|
|pantothenic acid||5 mg|
|Thiamin (thiamine)||1.2 mg|
|vitamin A||900 mcg of retinol activity equivalents|
|vitamin B6||1.7 mg|
|vitamin B12||2.4 mcg|
|vitamin C||90 mg|
|vitamin D||20 mcg|
|vitamin E||15 mg of alpha-tocopherol|
|vitamin K||120 mcg|
Mineral Daily Value Chart
Most people need a daily amount of key minerals. The FDA suggests that most people should consume the following amounts of minerals to stay healthy:
Various Terms Encountered In Food Or Supplement Labels
While DV can be a useful starting point, it is not the only term experts use to describe how much of something an individual should consume. Researchers, dietitians, manufacturers, and government bodies use different abbreviations. This can make reading nutritional labels challenging. The first step to reading ingredients is to understand what they mean before diving into the details of a label’s nutrition content profile.
Some of the common terms related to nutritional labels are as follows:
- DV: You can find this abbreviation on the food packaging. It itself indicated the suggested amount of certain nutrients one should consume per day.
- Recommended Daily Allowance (Rda): The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is a set of vitamins and minerals that is sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of most healthy people.
- Adequate Intake (Ai): When researchers do not have enough evidence to calculate an RDA of a specific nutrient, they will make an estimation reflecting the most recent research and modify their RDA based on the results of this analysis.
- Tolerable Upper Intake Level (Ul): It represents the highest amount a person can consume a vitamin or mineral without experiencing its side effects.
- Dietary Reference Intake (Dri): This term is considered common and it includes RDA, AI, and UL.
IS IT GOOD TO CONSUME EXCESS VITAMINS AND MINERALS?
It is important to note that not all vitamins and minerals are harmful when a person consumes them in excess. Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Vitamin and mineral toxicity are rare, and it only occurs when a person consumes a certain nutrient in large amounts. In most cases, people will not consume too much of a particular vitamin or mineral, especially when they are getting it from food. Overconsumption usually happens when an individual takes a nutritional supplement.
Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body, not in the blood. This can lead to toxic levels if too many of these compounds are consumed by an individual. Some vitamins dissolve in water, but fat-soluble ones do not. Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fat and oils, so they can build up over time. This is particularly common in people who consume too many fat-soluble vitamins. If a person consumes too many fat-soluble vitamins, the body will get rid of them through urine.
Fat-soluble vitamins are:
- vitamin A
- vitamin D
- vitamin E
- vitamin K
Take care when consuming excessive amounts of any nutrient, including fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and some antioxidants. While these items have the potential to be harmful if large amounts are consumed, they are safe when consumed in reasonable amounts. It is also important to know that not all fat-soluble vitamins are harmful in small amounts. Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and D are beneficial. However, people should avoid consuming megadoses of these vitamins over long periods of time as they may cause adverse effects.
Excessive Consumption Side Effects
When we take in too much of a certain micronutrient, it can be harmful. This is called “overconsumption” and can result from excessive intake of vitamins and minerals through multivitamin or supplement usage. Overconsumption is usually the result of excessive consumption of a particular micronutrient through the use of supplements, but can also occur if someone consistently exceeds the daily value (DV) for any one nutrient. Once a person has reached the DV, they may notice changes in their health or ability to function normally.
Symptoms of overconsumption of vitamins and minerals can lead to extreme toxicity. In the table below the potential symptoms of acute or chronic toxicity due to overconsumption of specific vitamins and minerals are mentioned:
|Vitamin or mineral||Side effects|
|vitamin A||peeling skin|
|niacin||burning, itching sensation|
low blood pressure
a build-up of fluid behind the eye
reduction in the absorption of iron, zinc, and magnesium
hair and nail brittleness
skin rashes and sores
Common Deficiencies Of Vitamin And Minerals
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common and may interfere with your day-to-day life. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and treat them naturally. Some of the deficiencies are:
- vitamin A
- vitamin B6
- vitamin B12
- vitamin D
- vitamin E
- vitamin C
A person’s diet should be varied and include a wide range of foods. Foods that are high in nutrients include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, healthy fats, and dairy products. Many people can get these vitamins and minerals from a varied diet. However, there are many reasons why a person may not be able to get the nutrients they need through diet alone. Many people are not able to get the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals from a varied, balanced diet. No matter what your age, gender, or health status might be, there are just some nutrients that cannot be met through a regular diet, so in this case, one must need to take supplements or multivitamins to complete the deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals.
There are various factors that can lead to inadequate nutrient intake or absorption:
- certain medications
- some medical conditions
Risks Involved In Consumption Of Multivitamins
Multivitamins are supplements that contain a combination of different vitamins and minerals. The result is that multivitamins can be beneficial for people who do not get enough vitamins or minerals from their diet. They are also valuable for vitamin-deficient individuals to catch up on. People often take multivitamins to “cover their bases” so that they can get all the nutrients they need from food. However, many multivitamins contain high levels of nutrients a person may already be consuming enough of in their diet. In addition to providing your body with comprehensive nutritional support, taking a multivitamin can help improve your health and life expectancy.
Diets that do not provide adequate nutrition can lead to deficiencies of nutrients that are needed to keep the body healthy. For example, people following a vegan diet may be at risk of developing vitamin B12, iodine, zinc, and iron deficiencies. These deficiencies can be warning signs that something is wrong with your body and you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are safe for most people to consume, but if a person is considering taking a vitamin or mineral supplement, they should consult with a doctor first. The doctor can order a simple blood test to check for any deficiencies. Taking too many dietary supplements or consuming a specific vitamin or mineral in excessive amounts could result in severe side effects.
When To Consult A Doctor
Our blood and urine tests are a simple way to determine the level of micronutrients in your body and whether you are lacking any. If you think your consumption of certain vitamins or minerals is either too high or too low, talk to your doctor. The results will determine which supplements are best suited for you.
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