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Vitamin supplements: yes or no?

If you intend to take vitamins because your neighbor or a friend at the office has started taking them, I suggest that you read this note first.
Since the 1950s, interest in the consumption of supplements arose due to the work of Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, where the idea of strengthening our defenses with pills that provide nutrients that are not incorporated with food was established, and in this way, improve our performance. According to the FAO in 2013, almost 30% of the population suffers from micronutrient deficiencies that affect growth, cognitive development and defenses. However, it is important that you know a little more about vitamins, their functions and whether there may be toxicity or deficiencies depending on your eating habits and whether they are necessary.

What are vitamins?

Vitamins are a group of substances that our body needs to achieve proper cellular functioning, development and growth. They are divided into FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS (A, D, E and K) that are used in the production of cell membranes and in the regulation of hormones. One thing to keep in mind is that if we consume them in excess, they accumulate in fatty tissue (adipose cells).
WATER-SOLUBLE VITAMINS (B1, B2, B6, B12, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, biotin, folic acid and niacin) participate in the transformation of energy and in the enzymatic reactions that intervene in the absorption of nutrients. Unlike the others, water-soluble vitamins are eliminated with urine, therefore there would be no risk of toxicity.
However, when we buy a multivitamin complex, we find ALL the vitamins combined and if our diet includes 5 fruits and/or vegetables a day, proteins (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes) and whole grains, as well as oils and nuts, avocado and olives as a source of healthy fats, we will be incorporating everything necessary without requiring any supplementation.

What are the indications for vitamin supplements?

– If you follow a restrictive diet (less than 1000 calories a day)
– During pregnancy or breastfeeding
– Vegans or strict vegetarians need a supplement with Vitamin B12.
– High performance athletes or very intense routines
– Recovery from illnesses or those who are going through a situation of work or study stress.
Maintaining a varied diet, exercising, not smoking, avoiding alcohol, replacing saturated and trans fats with vegetable oils, sufficient rest, are necessary and basic guidelines that cannot be replaced by supplements. ALWAYS CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL, regardless of the good intentions of your friends in their recommendations.

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