Taking Supplements for the First Time? Doctor Reveals What You Should Know

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One of the key supplements people should take in winter is vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient that provides support for our bones and immune system. Vitamin D can naturally be acquired through sunlight, but the problem with the winter sun is that it doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation for our skin to produce enough vitamin D. 

Another supplement that is recommended for the winter months is vitamin C, which helps to strengthen our immune system and maintain healthy skin. As colds and flu can spread like wildfire over winter, making sure your body synthesises as much of this vitamin is crucial. In relation to our skin, the cold air in winter causes it to become extra dry and sensitive, making the consumption of vitamin C essential to retain moisture. 

In order to get an additional boost of energy, taking vitamin B12 supplements throughout winter would also be a good idea. Low levels of vitamin B12 have also been linked with symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), although more research needs to be done to support this claim. Nonetheless, given the shorter and colder days, it’s important that we give our bodies as much of an energy boost as possible.

The supplements that people should take for general health

From helping to lower blood pressure to maintaining healthy cognitive function, omega 3 fish oils are also a key supplement that you should look to take for general health. Your body can’t produce essential fatty acids (EFAs) on its own, so you need to make sure you are consuming enough of these sources, whether that be through dietary sources or supplements. 

Zinc is also helpful as well. The supplement is known to support the function of bodily processes, such as immunity, macronutrient metabolism and the maintenance of hair, nails and skin. 

Another supplement which does not attract that much attention, but should do, is magnesium. Magnesium is required for more than 600 enzyme reactions in the body and low levels of this mineral can lead to issues of vitamin D metabolism, as well as irregular blood pressure, and fatigue. 

The supplements that people should avoid 

Unless advised by a GP, when it comes to supplement consumption, research has shown that vitamin E is one to avoid. According to a study, researchers have found that a relationship exists between prostate cancer and vitamin E. In a larger review done at John Hopkins University, researchers discovered that the overall risk of death was higher in people who took vitamin E.

People should also remain cautious about taking supplements at the same time. For example, when mixed together, vitamin C could break down the vitamin B12 in your digestive tract, which will, in turn, reduce your absorption of the mineral. That said, it’s best to wait at least two hours before turning to a different supplement.

The first steps people should consider when taking supplements

There are several vital things to be aware of when considering taking supplements. First of all, it’s important to know that they cannot substitute a healthy lifestyle and should be taken in conjunction with your balanced diet and regular exercise routines. 

There is also no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to supplement consumption. This is because everyone has different nutritional needs based on their age, health, diet and activity level. As well as this, if you take any medication for health conditions, always consult your doctor before taking your desired supplement. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are also advised to do the same. 

Finally, as the vitamins market is growing at such a fast pace these days, it’s important to do your research and ensure you are buying from trusted brands with proper certification. As well as this, be sure to go for natural products that have no traces of artificial ingredients or additives. 

Author Profile

The Editorial Team at Lake Oconee Health is made up of skilled health and wellness writers and experts, led by Daniel Casciato who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We aim to provide our readers with valuable insights and guidance to help them lead healthier and happier lives.