Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Vitamin Question

Do we need supplemental vitamins? Searching through the Health Canada website (, the only additional vitamin recommended was vitamin D.  However, there are guidelines for this vitamin.  Taken from the site:

What are Health Canada's Existing Recommendations?
All Canadians
Currently, the advice contained in Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide recommends that all Canadians over the age of two, including pregnant and lactating women, consume 500mL (two cups) of milk or fortified soy beverages every day.  These foods are fortified with vitamin D.
Adults over the age of fifty
Health Canada recommends that, in addition to following Canada's Food Guide, everyone over the age of 50 should take a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU.
Health Canada recommends that all breastfed, healthy term babies receive a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU. Supplementation of the vitamin should begin at birth and continue until one year of age. This recommendation is to help reduce the risk of rickets, a disease that affects bone growth in children. Infants who are formula fed receive adequate vitamin D from formula.
The pharmacy aisles are filled with whole sections dedicated to supplemental vitamins and minerals.  You can choose from one-a-day multivitamins, determined by use on your age and sex, to specific vitamins and minerals (i.e. D, E and C to name a few).  I can only presume that we as consumers have been led to believe that these vitamins and minerals are essential for our overall health.  But if we are following our countries dietary and physical guidelines, we should be receiving the adequate amounts already.  Also, where does that leave those people, who have a regimen of specific supplements, that they say has improved their quality of life? Is it because their diet is lacking in these vitamins and minerals on account that they are not following the CFG, or are they eating right, but still not receiving the benefit of the nutrition, which could mean a trip to the doctor to find out the reason why? What are your thoughts on this matter? Sounds like a good poll question to me.

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