There are many different types of vitamins, and each one has its own specific function in the body. While some vitamins are essential for overall health, others are only needed in small amounts. Additionally, some vitamins can be produced by the body, while others must be obtained through diet or supplements.
Vitamins play an important role in many bodily processes, including metabolism, immunity, and cell growth. Without sufficient levels of vitamins, these processes can be impaired, leading to a variety of health problems.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs, is to eat a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. However, even with a healthy diet it’s still possible to become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. This is why taking a daily multivitamin is often recommended for adults over age 50, as well as for pregnant women and people with certain health conditions.
Folic acid, which can reduce birth defects when taken by pregnant women
Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin and is mainly found in leafy green vegetables and fruits. It is important for pregnant women to take folic acid supplements because it can help reduce the risk of birth defects, including neural tube defects.
Folic acid works by helping the body to produce new cells. When taken by pregnant women, it helps to form the neural tube, which becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord. If enough folic acid is not present during this early stage of development, serious birth defects can occur.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all women of childbearing age take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folate (the natural form of folic acid) daily, either through diet or supplementation, in order to reduce their risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect. Women who are planning to become pregnant should take 400 mcg of folate daily for at least one month before conception and during the first three months of pregnancy.
Vitamin D, which can strengthen bones
Vitamin D is a essential vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium to build strong bones and teeth. It also supports the immune system, which helps to protect against conditions such as colds and flu. Vitamin D is found in food sources such as oily fish, eggs and fortified foods, but the main source of this vitamin is exposure to sunlight. In order to get enough vitamin D, it is recommended that people spend time outside every day without wearing sunscreen.
Calcium, which can promote bone health
Most people know that calcium is important for strong bones, but not everyone knows that it can also help prevent certain types of cancer. Studies have shown that calcium can play a role in the prevention of colon, rectal, and breast cancers.
Calcium is found in many foods, but some are better sources than others. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of calcium. Other good sources include: dark green leafy vegetables (such as broccoli and kale); fish with edible bones (such as sardines and salmon); tofu made with calcium sulfate and certain types of beans (such as white beans and navy beans).
The amount of calcium you need depends on your age. Adults 19-50 years old need 1,000 mg per day. Adults 51-70 years old need 1,200 mg per day. Women over the age of 50 and men over the age of 70 need 1,200 mg per day. Pregnant women need 1,000 mg per day. Breastfeeding women need 1,300 mg per day.
You can get too much calcium if: you take supplements or get injections of calcium gluconate or calcium lactate, without also getting enough vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 helps your body absorb calcium from food and supplements.
Too much vitamin D3 can lead to high levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia), which can be harmful to your health if not treated promptly by a healthcare provider.