January 8, 2024

How Often Do We Need Supplementation?

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Manisha B K

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How Often Do We Need Supplementation?
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How Often Do We Need Supplementation?

Supplements have been the new genre in health and lifestyle for a couple of years.

There is a massive market for nutraceuticals as much as pharmaceuticals, and external supplementation in nutrition has become the most essential requirement to manage a health crisis (primarily long-term).

But why do we need external supplements when we can get adequate nutrition from our diet?

You are not alone in this dilemma, and today, we will unravel the different situations when supplements work hand-in-hand with a good diet.

Let us dive deep into why we need them, how to choose them, who needs them the most, and what the reservations are. 

How To Choose Your Supplements?

Many supplements are available in the health market, but the question is how to identify genuine products.

Always check for licensing, barcodes, FSSAI approval, and other certifications depending on the country’s requirements (possibly FDA, HACCP, ISO, etc). (How To Identify Fake Supplements? (8 Things To Spot Fake Supplements) - Drug Research, n.d.)

Choosing the right product after a thorough check for an FSSAI license is always important, especially in India. Livest Health brand provides nutritional supplements approved by FSSAI, ISO, and GMP certifications.

Also read: How To Buy Supplements On Amazon

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Why Go For External Supplementation?

Besides the daily diet, external supplementation is crucial in bridging the gap between disease and diagnosis.

The primary reason for preferring supplements is to outgrow the deficiencies in the body. (Multivitamins: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, How to Take Them, When to Take Them, and More, n.d.) 

Malnutrition is a major concern, which is a known fact, but some unknown facts of deficiencies are hidden behind the pathophysiology of some diseases.

Let us learn more about deficiencies. 

Pathways To Deficiencies

External supplementation is not a fun game, and one should also understand that nutritional supplement requirements vary from person to person, and there could be multiple reasons.

There are various pathways to deficiencies, which means a deficiency is not just because of poor diet but can be due to certain endogenous deformities like:

  • Malabsorption
  • Enzyme deficiencies
  • Dietary insufficiency
  • Chromosomal defects, genetical dysfunction (Blumberg et al., 2018)
  • Bariatric surgeries, organ damage
  • Gut and intestinal issues
  • Liver and kidney issues
  • Multiple medications and drug interactions
  • Aging 
  • Pregnancy and other health crises in both men and women. 

According to the patient's laboratory and anthropometric results, the diagnosis for deficiencies should be made accurately by a clinical dietitian/nutritionist or a physician.

Some deficiencies are genetic, while others can be due to various reasons.

Because most of the absorption of vitamins and minerals happens in the intestines, any dysfunction around that area can lead to malabsorption.

Membrane carrier proteins, vitamin, and mineral receptors might lose their ability to take up an essential role in the body, leading to malabsorption. (Blumberg et al., 2018)

Essential MVMS during infertility

Multivitamins and Multimineral Supplements (MVMS) play a vital role in facilitating infertility issues in both men and women and help in pushing toward successful IVF procedures.

Most of the infertility issues are due to oxidative stress

A study investigated 56 women considering IVF procedures and studied the observations in groups.

The randomized control trials observed the placebo, IVF, and MVMS groups, concluding that multivitamin and mineral supplementation in serum and follicular fluid of women undergoing IVF may strengthen the antioxidant defense system by decreasing oxidative stress. (Özkaya & Nazrolu, 2010)

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Vitamins and minerals like folic acid, zinc, selenium, vitamins A, C, and E, and the B vitamins, all have a special place to play during infertility. Each vitamin/mineral is interlinked to various physiological functions.

Maternal Prerequisites For Supplements

Vitamin and mineral supplementation are prerequisites throughout maternity, pre-natal, and post-natal phases.

Many studies observed decreased levels of iron, B12, folic acid, calcium, zinc, magnesium, Vitamins A and C during pregnancy and an additional decrease in the levels of B vitamins during the post-natal phase. (Oh et al., 2020)

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Maternal supplementation, especially with iron, folic acid, and calcium, is important in the present-day scenario to observe reduced NTD in newborns (Neural tube defects), improved iron levels, and bone health.

Post-natal diet and supplements should focus on B vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, and selenium, apart from iron and calcium. 

Geriatric Adversity

One major reason for deficiencies and malabsorption is the growing age.

With age, there is an increased need for external supplementation because of inadequate food intake, poor dentition, dentures, multiple medications, poor functioning of the GIT, diseases, and organ failure.

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Along with sarcopenia, loss of vision and loss of nerve coordination are seen in most senior citizens.

Multivitamin-multimineral supplementation will better impact their quality of life (Abolfathi et al., 2021) and positively impact their psychological health, which is said to improve their memory. (Yeung et al., 2023)

Essential MVMS for children

Children need all vitamins and minerals from their daily diet, but in special conditions, there is a dire need for external supplementation.

As childhood is the base for cell regeneration, growth, and building of the structural part, all fat-soluble vitamins become extremely important for cell regeneration and structural functioning.

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B vitamins help synthesize and metabolize lipids, amino acids, and carbohydrates, while minerals regulate their delicate hormones. In pediatric health, external supplementation should complement their health with a good nutritional diet. 

Have We Forgotten These Minerals? 

Minerals like zinc, selenium, iodine, magnesium, potassium, molybdenum, phosphorous, and copper are not credited well for their functions in the human body.

Nonetheless, these minerals are efficient in vitamin and mineral synthesis and metabolism. Like, copper is essential for iron absorption in the gut.

When copper levels are low, the body may absorb less iron. This can cause iron deficiency anemia.

The trace mineral iodine is essential as our daily diet does not meet the daily value. Zinc and selenium help build immunity and repair DNA damage.

There is a lot of depletion of these minerals from our bodies in our daily lives, and most of the time, the daily value of the minerals is not met through food.

Hence, external supplementations placate certain irreversible damages. 

Dosage and Precautions

Vitamins and minerals have reservations, as there are well-specified RDA (recommended dietary allowance) levels for all the macro and micronutrients.

Vitamin toxicity is not very common, but precautions have to be considered, especially with respect to fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K).

Vitamin toxicity can lead to severe repercussions for the health of the individual. (Wierzejska, 2021) 

It is essential to seek professional help to diagnose and rectify the daily values by considering the RDA levels and correcting the deficiency.

External supplements should always complement your dietary intake, and always prefer a licensed brand over anything else.

References

  • Abolfathi, M., Pasdar, Y., Kheiri, M., Irandoost, S. F., & Darabi, F. (2021). The effect of consuming
    multivitamin/mineral supplements on elderly quality of life: Based on randomized control trial.
    Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 10(1), 63. https://doi.org/10.4103/JEHP.JEHP_129_20
  • Blumberg, J. B., Bailey, R. L., Sesso, H. D., & Ulrich, C. M. (2018). The Evolving Role of
    Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement Use among Adults in the Age of Personalized Nutrition.
    Nutrients, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/NU10020248
  • How To Identify Fake Supplements? (8 Things To Spot Fake Supplements) - Drug Research. (n.d.). Retrieved
    January 6, 2024, from https://drugresearch.in/how-to-identify-fake-supplements/
  • Multivitamins: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, How to Take Them, When to Take Them, and More.
    (n.d.). Retrieved January 3, 2024, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-of-
    multivitamins
  • Oh, C., Keats, E. C., & Bhutta, Z. A. (2020). Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation During Pregnancy on
    Maternal, Birth, Child Health and Development Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A
    Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/NU12020491
  • Özkaya, M. O., & Nazrolu, M. (2010). Multivitamin and mineral supplementation modulates oxidative
    stress and antioxidant vitamin levels in serum and follicular fluid of women undergoing in vitro
    fertilization. Fertility and Sterility, 94(6), 2465–2466.
    https://doi.org/10.1016/J.FERTNSTERT.2010.01.066
  • Wierzejska, R. E. (2021). Dietary Supplements—For Whom? The Current State of Knowledge about the
    Health Effects of Selected Supplement Use. International Journal of Environmental Research and
    Public Health, 18(17). https://doi.org/10.3390/IJERPH18178897
  • Yeung, L. K., Alschuler, D. M., Wall, M., Luttmann-Gibson, H., Copeland, T., Hale, C., Sloan, R. P., Sesso, H.D., Manson, J. A. E., & Brickman, A. M. (2023). Multivitamin Supplementation Improves Memory in
    Older Adults: A Randomized Clinical Trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 118(1),
    273–282. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.AJCNUT.2023.05.011
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