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A vitamin is a nutrient the body needs for normal cell function, growth, and development; they play a vital role in maintaining health. The human body needs them but, unfortunately, can’t make them on its own. So instead, the body gets them from the food we eat.

One exception to this is vitamin D, which the body makes when your skin is exposed to the sun, but it can also be found in food like egg yolks.

Vitamins perform a whole bunch of different functions in your body, and there are many platforms that provide information about the health benefits that vitamins offer. However, there are plenty others that promote unhealthy amounts of multivitamin intake. So let’s set the record straight.

1. Vitamins are not drugs or miracle cures

In fact, their main purpose is to maintain health, not cure diseases. Scientists say there’s no strong evidence to back up the belief that taking multivitamins makes you healthier. “Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death. Their use is not justified, and they should be avoided,” a group of researches wrote in a 2013 editorial for the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

2. Vitamin supplements cannot replace a healthy diet 

You should get your vitamins primarily from food. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help give your body the vitamins it needs. It is important to remember that vitamins do help if your diet is sometimes inadequate. However that needs to be confirmed by a medical doctor.


3. Is there no limit to the amount of vitamins one can take?

Almost every vitamin has what’s known as an upper limit, or a daily amount that’s safe to consume. You can find all of them in this handy chart. So, if you are on any supplements, make sure the dose is low enough that it’s not putting you over the daily upper limit.

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4. Exceptions that require daily vitamin intake 

The National Library of Medicine recommends that women who are currently pregnant or trying to get pregnant should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. Folic acid reduces the risk of some birth defects. Those with certain health conditions, and some of the elderly, may find vitamin supplements helpful. Always consult with your health care provider before taking new supplements. Vitamin B12 is recommended for vegans and sometimes vegetarians, because B12 is only found in animal-based foods like meat, eggs, and dairy.

5. If you are truly deficient in a vitamin, you’ll have concerning symptoms 

It’s unlikely that you’d have a serious vitamin deficiency without realizing something was off. For example, vitamin C deficiency may cause scurvy. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue, tingling hands and feet, and even confusion and memory loss. So, if there’s a deficiency, you will notice it.

If you’re curious about the truth behind Vitamins, it’s important to speak with your health care provider or medical doctor before trying any supplements. Multivitamins should be used only if it’s necessary, not for luxury.

Ngumeritiza Katjimune

Hi my name is Ngumeritiza. I am a contributor at Afterbreak Magazine, I've been writing for the past two years and I have honestly fallen in-love with being able express my views on so many different topics and issues. Although I'm currently pursuing a career in Physiotherapy at the University of Namibia, I believe that everyone has a creative part within themselves and writing helps me explore my creativeness.

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Afterbreak Magazine is a Namibian digital youth magazine that presently leads in educating, empowering and entertaining young Namibian people, with the aim of building a community of growth, a sense of responsibility and a shared identity.

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April 2023