How important are vitamins and supplements to our health?
Reader asks, "Why must we take vitamins? Isn’t it better to just eat healthy? If I have a well balanced diet, must I take vitamins and supplements? What is the right age to start taking supplements? Is there also a chance that I can be over supplementing myself?"
It depends on the lifestyle and environment a person is exposed to. For a person who is working or studying, he/she spends a large portion of time out of home. Most of the time, the choice of food depends on the availability of healthy food from the vendors.
Unless a person is actively searching for healthy food, he/she cannot be certain that the food they eat while at work or in school is healthy, and contains the required vitamins and nutrients.
Therefore, taking vitamins and supplements is a personal choice, unless a need arises due to medical concerns.
There is no right age to start taking supplements. My 2-year-old is already taking Vitamin C, with his older brothers.
Lastly, yes, there is a chance of over supplementation, but in these cases, the doses have to be really huge to cause any damage as our bodies are more resilient than we think.
About Dr Dana Elliott
Dr Dana Elliott Srither, MBBS (Singapore), Grad Dip Family Medicine, is a certified Family Physician who believes in the principles of “Get Well” and “Stay Well”.