Even if you usually eat a wide variety of fairly healthy foods, it may be to your benefit to take vitamins. These supplements can help to ensure that you get all of the vitamins and minerals you need for optimum health. Here’s how to buy vitamins:
- Determine what you need. You may want a specific vitamin to combat a health issue or to provide a specific vitamin that is missing in your everyday diet, or you may want a multivitamin that includes a wide range of different vitamins to make sure you’re getting everything need. Pinpoint your special needs by considering your regular diet and any circumstances such as pregnancy or vegetarianism which may affect your dietary needs. There are different formulations for women, men, different ages, and other variables.
- Ask your doctor. This is a step many people skip when buying vitamins, but it certainly should be done. Make sure the vitamins you are considering should not interfere with your medication, or vice versa. Some medications do affect vitamin absorption. If you have special dietary concerns, your doctor should also be a trusted source for dealing with these, and can help you determine what type of vitamin to take and the dosage you need. Always consult your doctor before actually buying the vitamins.
- Understand doses. Read up on the recommended daily allowances of the vitamins you are considering. Some bottles of vitamins actually provide several times the RDA in each vitamin, and getting too much can be almost as harmful as getting too little, depending on the vitamin in question.
- Choose your vitamins carefully. Most experts agree that generic vitamins are just as effective as brand names, provided that they contain exactly the same amounts of each ingredient. Carefully read the entire label of the vitamins you are considering.
- Check for solubility. Make sure that your vitamins are easily soluble to be sure that they will dissolve in your body after you take them. Look for a statement regarding fast release on the bottle. If in doubt, place one of your vitamins overnight in a small glass of water. It should be nearly dissolved by the morning. Vitamins that are manufactured poorly must be made into very hard tablets, and these may not dissolve.
- Check for quality. When buying vitamins, you’ll need to compromise between potency and savings. It may cost less per day to buy your vitamins in very large containers, but remember that vitamins do lose their potency over time. Another way people try to cut costs is to buy vitamins through online pharmacies. If you go this route, remember that while there are many legitimate online pharmacies there are also others that do not safeguard your personal information and may send you low-quality vitamins. Be sure that you are buying the same brand names that you could find in local stores.
Remember that vitamin supplements should be part of a balanced diet, they are not a balanced diet in and of themselves. Even if you add vitamins to your routine, it’s still important to eat healthy meals.