Vitamins: What’s Right For You?

Go to any health store, and you might walk out feeling like you neglect your body. They sell every vitamin under the sun… and you might take just one of them. Don’t feel bad. You can live well with just one vitamin tablet, and it’s one you may have been taking for a long time.

Do you take any vitamins? Some of Franca Alphin’s clients answer that question with quite an exotic list. There are all sorts of vitamins out there, but Franca suggests most people take their kids’ vitamins. “They’re great,” says Franca, a dietitian at Duke University in Durham, N.C. “I know people are like, ‘What?’ But they’re fine!” Because they’re chewable, more nutrients are absorbed.

One multi-vitamin is all most men need. That’s great for Chris Steyn. “I prefer to take one tablet rather than a handful of tablets, because they don’t exactly taste very nice,” he says.

Women like Michelle Jones need to look for extra calcium to prevent osteoporosis… and extra iron to fight anemia. Grandmothers like Jane Gibson don’t need the iron… but still need the extra calcium and vitamin E. “Vitamin E, which has been researched for long periods of time now, is being shown to be beneficial to reducing your risk of heart disease,” says Franca.

Finally, don’t forget the kids. They don’t always eat right. So a multi-vitamin is important, but look for one with extra calcium, too.

“They drink a lot of soda,” says Franca. “They may not drink the milk that they need. So they need a good quality multi-vitamin that has a little bit more calcium.”

Don’t be confused by all the labels and hype. You can take just one vitamin a day… and feel like a kid again.

If a few vitamins are good, a lot must be great, right? Think again. You can over-indulge with some vitamins causing nervous problems, diarrhea and numbness in your extremities. It’s important to read the label.

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