How to Take Vitamin Supplements Correctly

How to Take Vitamin Supplements Correctly

In addition to nutritious foods and drinks, vitamin supplements are generally taken to complement the nutrients the body needs. However, if it is necessary, make sure you know how to take the correct supplement so that it does not cause side effects for health.

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients. This means, the body cannot produce these two nutrients naturally, so it needs to be obtained from food or supplements so that the body's health is maintained.

Additional vitamin supplements may no longer be needed if you are already eating a variety of healthy foods on a regular basis. This type of healthy food can include a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, milk, nuts, and seeds.

However, vitamin supplements can be taken when the need for these nutrients increases or when the body lacks intake, for example when sick, during pregnancy or breastfeeding, entering old age, or in the recovery period after illness.

Some things to consider before taking vitamins

Before buying and taking vitamins, it's good if you know the benefits and risks of taking these vitamins. If you really need or decide to take vitamin supplements, first consider the following points:

1. Consult a doctor

Before taking supplements, you should consult your doctor first to determine the appropriate dose of vitamin supplements.

The appropriate dose of vitamin supplement consumption can also be different in certain groups, such as children, pregnant or lactating women, and sufferers of a disease.

2. Read the product packaging label

Vitamin supplement products will generally include a recommended dose of supplement use on the packaging label.

In addition, the label also lists the ingredients contained in the vitamin supplement, the single consumption dose, benefits, side effects, and expiration date. This information is important for you to pay attention to so that vitamins can be consumed properly and safely.

3. Be aware of the effects of drug interactions

When you want to take a vitamin supplement, you need to determine whether the supplement will have an interaction effect with certain drugs, other supplements, foods, or herbal products.

You can also record all supplements and medications you have or are currently taking to ask your doctor.

On the other hand, there are some vitamin supplements that actually need to be mixed into drinks or food. However, make sure that you are not nutritionally overloaded and are not at risk of certain side effects.

4. Ensure product sales permit

Before taking certain supplements, you can check whether the supplement product has been registered with the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency.

Drugs, vitamin supplements, or products that are not registered with Food and Drug Supervisory Agency are drugs that are not licensed for sale or consumption, so they are not necessarily safe for consumption.

Be on the lookout for supplements that are over-promoted or use overly catchy terms like “money back guarantee” or “100% natural”.

Do not be easily tempted by supplement products that claim to cure various diseases or slimming down quickly.

A good vitamin supplement should be aimed at treating a specific problem and not over-promising results.

Supplements are available in various forms of tablets, capsules, powder, or liquid. This difference in form determines how much vitamin levels can be absorbed by the body and how quickly the effect of the vitamin supplement works. Usually supplements in liquid form will be absorbed by the body faster than those in pill form.

In addition, the different forms of supplements also depend on the type of vitamin. Some vitamin supplements are only available in pill form, otherwise they can be harmful and have an effect on stomach acid.

Therefore, ask your doctor about the type of supplement that is right for you.

Guide to Taking Vitamins

The following table can be your guide in taking vitamin supplements. However, note that children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and the elderly can have different levels of vitamin requirements than the general dose for adults.

Vitamin name or minerals
Recommended rate per day Highest safe level that can be consumed per day Benefits
Vitamin A Men: 3,000 IU
Women: 2,300 IU
Ages 1–3 years: 1,000 IU
Ages 4–8 years: 1,300 IU
Ages 9–13 years: 2,000 IU
10.000 IU Maintain healthy eyes, bones, and skin Strengthen the body's immune system
Prevent measles complications, especially in children
Vitamin B1 Men >19 years: 1.2 mg Women >19 years: 1.1 mg Maintain healthy brain, hair, skin and muscles
Vitamin B3 Men: 16 mg
Women: 14 mg
35 mg Maintain healthy blood cells, brain, nervous system, and skin
Vitamin B6 Men 19–50 years: 1.3 mg Men >51 years: 1.7 mg
Women 19–50 years: 1.3 mg
Women >51 years: 1.5 mg
100 mg Plays an important role in regulating appetite, mood, and sleep activities
Folic acid (Vitamin B9) All ages: 400 mcg
Pregnant: 800 mcg
Breastfeeding mothers: 600 mcg
1,000 mg
Applies only to synthetic folic acid found in food supplements or fortifications. However, there is no highest level for folic acid obtained from natural sources.
Compulsory vitamin supplements that are important for pregnant women to prevent defects in the fetus, such as spina bifida and anencephaly Prevent preeclampsia in pregnant women
Vitamin B12 Men and women >14 years: 2.4 mcg Protects nerve cells Produces red blood cells
Promote growth
Vitamin C Men: 90 mg
Women: 75 mg
Smokers need an additional dose of 35 mg
2.000 mg Maintain oral and gum health Reduce the risk of cancer
As an antioxidant
Vitamin D Infants (ages 0–12 months): 10 mcg (400 IU)
Children and adults: 15 mcg (600 IU)
Elderly women: 20 mcg (800 IU)
4.000 IU Helps the absorption of calcium in the body for healthy bones and teeth
Vitamin E Children and adults: 15 mcg (22 IU)
Breastfeeding mothers: 19 mg (28 IU)
1,500 IU from food 2,200 IU for synthetic vitamin E Help the formation of red blood cells Strengthen the immune system
Vitamin K Men and women 14–18: 55 mcg
Men and women >19: 65 mcg
Helps the blood clotting process Maintain bone health in the elderly

The human body does need vitamin intake, but if excessive it can interfere with the body's metabolism as a whole. Therefore, avoid taking vitamin supplements, especially vitamins A, D, E, and K, in high doses. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins which, if consumed in excess, will accumulate in body tissues and become toxic. This condition can trigger a health problem called hypervitaminosis. Everyone's vitamin needs and nutritional intake can be different, depending on age, gender, pregnancy, and the illness or treatment being undertaken. Therefore, before you take any vitamin supplements, consult your doctor first so that the doctor can determine the type and dosage of supplements that suit your needs.