Whenever you get a cold, you already know the drill: rest, drink hot tea, wear warm clothes, and most importantly, stock up on vitamin C. The cold will magically disappear after a few days, right? Ah, if only it were that easy. Sometimes it seems like companies make up a new health issue every day just to get us to buy more supplements, so an average person ends up with a whole array of little vitamin bottles in their medicine cabinet. We gaze at them with satisfaction, certain that we’ve covered everything and we’re now practically the epitome of health. Vitamins sound innocent, but in truth, they can end up doing more harm than good. So, do vitamins even do anything useful? Which vitamins should you take? We’re here to answer.
Okay, here’s the deal – vitamin C won’t help your cold. The evidence that supports the theory that vitamin C can fend off common viruses is scarce at best. There are no real remedies for the common cold, and the best thing you can do is actually to just take a few days off and rest. Your body need to fight off the inflammationn on its own, and the best you can do is ease the symptoms with hot liquids, Ibuprofen and by steaming your face. However, vitamin C has some nice anti-aging benefits if used in serums and moisturizers, and certain studies show that it can reduce the duration of the cold in some people.
Are you young, healthy, and never had any bone diseases? Then you don’t need calcium, and taking unnecessary doses of it might actually end up clogging up your arteries and causing all sorts of problems for your cardiovascular system. For children, calcium is important in bone development, but they should get their dose from milk and other dairy, rather than supplements. Those who benefit from actual pills are women in menopause who are at risk for osteoporosis. A mix of calcium and vitamin D can go a long way in preventing brittle bones, so combine the supplements with exercising and you’ll get great results.
Now, this is a pretty great supplement to use, especially if you have heart problems or hypertension. Doctors recommend eating fish at least twice a week, but since most of us don’t really do that, getting your fill from a bottle is a perfectly good idea. It’s easy to find cheap vitamins and supplements to fill your daily need for Omega 3, and this tiny step can make a huge difference in your health. Some studies even show that it helps with arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and a number of other things, so this is the one thing you probably don’t want to skip.
Folic acid is almost a necessary supplement for pregnant women who wish to prevent problems with bone development in their children, especially spina bifida. It’s a really good supplement to take as it lowers the risk of birth defects, and it’s definitely recommended.
We tend to shove it all under just “vitamin B,” but there are actually many types of it and they all do different things for you. Vitamin B12 is good for adults, as it helps our bodies produce red blood cells, and it’s especially important for vegans who might not be getting enough of it from their diet. It’s found in fish, meat, dairy and eggs, and it’s very good for our nervous system and can help reduce the feeling of lethargy.
If you spend a lot of time indoors, vitamin D3 supplements are probably going to be good for you, because our body has a hard time getting it from food. Like mentioned previously, this vitamin is essential for bone health, and if you, or anyone in your family suffers from multiple sclerosis, this vitamin has shown a lot of potential in reducing the symptoms or even helping prevent the disease.
The bottom line here is this: if you have a deficiency in something, taking vitamins is a great idea. The best thing you can do is go see your doctor, have them do some blood analysis, and see if there’s anything you’re lacking. Vitamins aren’t magic, but they can help a lot if you take just the ones you really need.