Monday, February 25, 2013

Vitamins & Supplements FAQ's

Q: Why do I need vitamins and minerals?

A: What you eat affects your health and well-being. Vitamins are necessary to keep your body healthy. Dietary supplements are intended to supplement the diet where there may be low nutrient levels. Vitamins and minerals work together to keep the body growing and functioning normally. They help convert food into energy, keep cells healthy, and support the immune system.

Q: Is it safe to take vitamins and supplements with over-the-counter medicines?

A: As with prescription drugs, it is always a good idea to share your list of medicines, vitamins, and supplements with your doctor at Richichi Family Health to make sure you receive personalized advice and recommendations. It is also important to follow dosage instructions on product labels. Look for warning statements such as those that discuss combining vitamins and supplements with specific prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

 Q: Why is there a variety of strengths for certain nutrients like vitamin D and vitamin B12?

A: In some cases, higher doses may be recommended to restore levels of that nutrient. In other cases, a lower does may be recommended to maintain nutrient levels. It is always best to talk to your family doctor at Richichi Family Health when determining what types of vitamins and in what dose to take.

Q: Do I need to tell my doctor what dietary supplements I am taking?

A: Yes, it is important to keep your doctor informed about your supplement choices. Ask about potential interactions between your prescription drugs and nutritional supplements. Certain prescriptions can deplete or impair absorbtion of essential nutrients in your body. Ask your family doctor at Richichi Family Health how to get the nutrients you need.

Q: How do I select a quality dietary supplement?

A: It is important to look for brands that meet the highest standards of purity and potency. Brands that follow rigorous quality testing and verification programs ensure what's on the label is in the bottle. Manufacturers that participate in third-party verification programs such as that of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), and which make products that pass the stringent criteria set forth by the USP, are allowed to use the USP Verified Mark on their labels. Your family physician at Richichi Family Health is also a good source of recommendations.