Frequently asked questions - COVID-19
Should I take a dietary supplement during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During Covid-19, people are generally advised to increase their dosage of vitamin C and zinc to accelerate the healing process and build a stronger immunity. However, it’s best to consult your doctor before starting any supplements during Covid-19.
Frequently asked questions - General
Can vitamins and minerals make up for a poor diet?
Supplements of vitamins and minerals will not convert poor food choices into a healthy diet, but relevant quantities of particular vitamins or minerals may address specific deficiencies at certain times. Note however, that supplements with high levels of some vitamins and minerals may be harmful.
My parents and grandparents never consumed multivitamin throughout their life, then why do I need to consume it?
Keeping in mind the current fast paced lifestyle, social gatherings, increased consumption of processed foods and food adulteration, it is likely that nutritional deficiencies may develop. In earlier times, the food was fairly organic, fresh and free of pesticides and insecticides, hence the nutrients reaching the body were optimum.
I am fit and fine, do I need to take multivitamin?
If one is fit and fine, then there is no need to take multivitamin provided you follow nutritious diet.
I am non-vegetarian; do I need to take multivitamin to meet my daily requirements of essential vitamins?
As long as you are following disciplined lifestyle and diet plan, you may not need any vitamin supplement.
I am vegetarian and eat fresh vegetables and fruits regularly, do I need multivitamins?
With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs. If you do not plan your diet properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12.
What is RDA value?
These values, which vary by age and sex, include: Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people
Can people get all the nutrients they need from their diet?
The best way to ensure that you receive all the nutrients in your diet is by eating a wholesome, balanced and nutrient rich diet. The diet must be seasonal, regional, colourful and rich in variety.
Does taking supplements replace the need for a varied and balanced diet?
Supplements aren’t intended to replace food. They can’t replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and
Whole foods offer three main benefits over dietary supplements
- Greater nutrition
- Essential Fiber
- Protective substances.
What happens if people don’t get all the vitamins and minerals they need?
Nutrition underpins good health and a considerable body of research has highlighted links between inadequate intakes of vitamins and minerals and poor health.
How do people know which food supplements can benefit them?
One can know which food supplements can benefit them by assessing the nutrient/vitamin/mineral their body is deficient in. It can be assessed by biochemical tests done in a laboratory or by carefully examining the symptoms the body is experiencing.
Is it possible to take too much of a certain vitamin or mineral?
Vitamins are essential nutrients that keep the body healthy, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Taking an excessive amount of any one vitamin can cause serious health problems.
Can some supplements stop medicines from working?
Supplements will not generally stop medicines from working. However, there are interactions between nutritional status and the action of some medicines. Certain medicines influence the absorption or metabolism of some nutrients.
What’s the difference between a food supplement and herbal medicine?
Herbal substances come from plants and many are used in both food supplements and medicinal products. For example, sage, ginseng and garlic can all be found in both food supplements and herbal remedies.
Herbal product will be considered a medicinal product if medicinal claims are made about it i.e., that it can prevent, treat or cure disease.
What should people check when choosing a food supplement product?
Before choosing a food supplement, make sure to check for nutrition labels and health claims made by that particular product. It is also important to choose the right product with the specific ingredients that help to treat/correct an underlying deficiency. Getting in touch with the right nutritionist may help you assess your requirements, dosage and needs.
Which vitamins are associated with metabolizing fat?
The main function of the B vitamins is to help your body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and to use the stored energy in food.
Which vitamins and minerals should pregnant women take and which they should they avoid?
It is best to consult a doctor before taking any supplements during pregnancy.
Can I get enough nutrients just from everyday meals?
As long as a nutritious diet and disciplined lifestyle is followed you may get enough nutrients from your meals.
I have heard that taking some medicines can cause deficiencies in some vitamins. Which ones are they?
It is true that some medicines can cause deficiencies and hence it is good to consult with your doctor before buying any vitamin supplement.
If I am around heavy smokers, are there any vitamins I should take more of?
Active/passive smoking may cause a lot of cell damage and free radical production. A supplement rich in antioxidants may help
I regularly consume alcohol; can vitamin supplements interact with Alcohol?
Alcohol consumption can cause deficiencies in vitamin A, C, D, E, K, and B vitamins.
Can I take vitamin supplements during pregnancy?
Be cautious about taking dietary supplements if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.
Frequently asked questions - Vitamins & Supplements
Who needs vitamins and supplements?
These days, most of the population does not eat healthy food and choices are driven by varying needs and situations. Such group of people and those having diabetics, diabetic neuropathy, general weakness, low immunity, etc may need these supplementary vitamins to compensate the shortfall.
Geriatrics are also at a higher requirement for nutritional
supplements due to decreased gut functioning and reduced absorption of nutrients usually experienced with advancing age. People with specific disease or health conditions such as skin problems, mouth ulcers, chronic fatigue, diabetes, hair health etc are also at an increased need for supplements. Certain vitamins and mineral absorption such as iron, calcium and B12 is hindered due to various factors for which nutritional supplement may be advised.
What are the visible symptoms of vitamin deficiencies?
Below are some of the visible symptoms on vitamin deficiencies if you do not have any other ailments. However, it is always good to consult a physician to be sure.
Ridges on the nails
Thinning of hairs
Hair loss of more than 20 strands
Cracks in the corners of the mouth
Scaly patches and dandruff
Red or white bumps on the skin
Restless leg syndrome
Reduced digestive function
Poor night vision and
white growths on the eyes
How are vitamins and supplements regulated?
In India, the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 regulates food products including nutraceuticals, dietary supplements and functional foods.
What are some safety considerations when choosing supplements?
Always read the nutrition label carefully before selecting a supplement.
Make sure that the supplement does not exceed your RDA. The best way to assess that is by getting in touch with a nutritionist so that they can make a total assessment of your daily RDA and advise the supplement dosage accordingly.
How can I evaluate the quality of a supplement?
Try to figure out about the place where it is manufactured. Also check the profile of the marketing company and you can ask them to share Certificate of Analysis of the supplement that you wish to consume.
What is food supplement?
The idea behind food supplements, also called dietary or nutritional
supplements, is to deliver nutrients that may not be consumed in
sufficient quantities. Food supplements can be vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and other substances delivered in the form of pills, tablets, capsules, liquid, etc.
Is it safe for children to take supplements?
Talk to your child’s doctor if you’re concerned about whether your child is getting the recommended level of vitamins and minerals. A multivitamin might be helpful for your child if he or she Has:
- delay in physical and developmental growth (failure to thrive)
- certain chronic diseases or food allergies
- restrictive diet
Is it OK to take different supplements at the same time?
You can—but it’s probably not a good idea. For some supplements, optimal absorption can depend on the time of day they are taken. Not only that—taking certain vitamins, minerals, or other supplements together can also reduce absorption and may result in adverse interactions, which can be harmful to your health.
What are the differences between medicines and food Supplements?
Supplements are readily available on the market and can be purchased without a prescription. Supplements are not considered medicines. They do not give a cure to any illness or disease. They are just taken to supplement or reinforce the need for nutrients like vitamins and
I am already consuming medications for other ailments, can I take Vitamin supplements?
Some vitamins can interfere with medication. If you have any health conditions that require regular medication, you should always check with your doctor before taking supplements. Taking multiple drugs and/or supplements can increase your risk for side effects and adverse interactions, including cognitive impairment.