Even if you're generally healthy, you could probably benefit from taking vitamins and other supplements. Supplements can provide amounts of nutrients larger than you get from your diet, which in some cases may help protect against disease. And chances are, you're getting too little of certain key nutrients. People on a typical Western diet tend to be deficient in certain essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Elderly people living in their own homes are often deficient in vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium and zinc, and premenopausal women are often low in calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. Vegetarians, macrobiotics, and people on weight-loss diets can also be at risk of deficiencies.
A one-a-day multivitamin will provide you with the recommended amounts of most essential vitamins and minerals, but extra doses of certain nutrients can help make up for deficiencies. If, like most people, you don't get enough calcium, for example, supplementation can help maintain a healthy bone mass and has been shown to reduce fractures later in life. Vitamin D and magnesium may also help prevent bone loss, and zinc has been shown increase immune function.
For information to help you find the best supplements for you, visit our Vitamins Wellness Center.
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