Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Taking your vitamins properly does matter

Everyone knows that making sure we get the right amount of vitamins and minerals each day is important for good health. Everyone also knows that very few of us have diets which can provide us with this daily amount of vitamins, so some of us take supplements to make up for this. Vitamin supplements are a great way to make sure you get your RDA (recommended daily allowance), but did you know that if you do not take them correctly then they will most likely not work?

Scientific studies have shown that if vitamins are taken at different times every day and missed on odd days here and there, they will not actually work to their full potential. It is important to take them properly because if not then they can actually just be flushed straight through the body, and not be absorbed.

There are some factors which can reduce the chance of vitamins being absorbed. Making sure you drink enough water when swallowing vitamins will make sure that they are flushed properly into your stomach, where they can be properly absorbed by the body. Drinking coffee 15 minutes before or after taking vitamins can also have an effect on the absorption of the vitamins. Also taking vitamins with hot or chilled drinks can cause the vitamins to not dissolve properly when swallowed.

Vitamins should be treated like any other form of supplement or medication, and be taken by the instructions on the pot. Just like other medication, if taken wrong they won’t work, and also if taken in excess they can cause side effects.

Canadian researchers found in trials that the people who took their vitamins and even their placebo pills correctly benefited greatly compared to those who missed pills or took them incorrectly. Some trials assessing drugs intake found that those who took them properly had 44% fewer deaths then the ones who took them properly. This was not only present in the participants taking the drug, but also in the participants taking the placebo pills! This is the same for vitamins those who take them properly benefit greatly compared to those who do not take them correctly.

Vitamins are essential for the body to function properly. They help to keep the heart and immune system healthy, as well as nearly every other part of the body. Vitamins cannot be produced by the body (with some exceptions such as vitamin D) so must be obtained through our diet or supplements. Fat soluble vitamins are absorbed with fat into the intestines and circulation. Whilst water soluble vitamins are only stored in the body for a short time then are excreted to the kidneys, hence why they should be taken correctly to make sure they are absorbed by our body.

Water soluble vitamins are more likely to not be absorbed properly if taken incorrectly. They are easily lost and flushed through the system without being absorbed into the bloodstream or intestines. Vitamin C and Vitamin B are water soluble vitamins and need to be taken daily as they will not be stored in the body for more then a day.

So next time you are taking your vitamins, or when you buy them, take a minute to sit down and read through the directions properly. If you have noticed that your vitamins are not working as well as you would like them too then try taking them as directed before assuming they are not working, you will be surprised of the difference it could make. Being strict with your intake of vitamins can make a big difference to your life, and help you in ways you never thought they would before!



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