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Vitamins and Supplements: Frequently Asked Questions

What are vitamins?

Vitamins are essential nutrients our bodies need for a wide array of health functions. If you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, you’re on the right path to getting the vitamins you need for optimal health—that’s because plant-based foods tend to be great natural sources of vitamins. For example, spinach is a great way to get in vitamin A, and many whole grains are good sources of B vitamins such as folate. And let’s not forget oranges and other citrus fruits, which are a rich in vitamin C. Food isn’t the only way to get vitamins, however; most famously, vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin” because you get it from sun exposure.

But even if you spend a lot of time outdoors and follow the most health-conscious of diets, you likely will need to take vitamins as supplements to achieve optimum wellness. Vitamin brands offer these nutrients as capsules, tablets, fat-soluble softgels, powders, and gummies.

What are minerals?

People often mistakenly call minerals “vitamins,” because both are essential to our health. Popular minerals to take in supplement form include bone strength must-have calcium, as well as iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Foods are a good natural source of these minerals, but just as it’s difficult to get enough vitamins from our diet. We also often need to take a dietary supplement to get adequate levels of minerals.

What are supplements?

The term “supplements” refers to vitamins and mineral supplements, as well as amino acids such as L-carnitine, antioxidants such as coenzyme CoQ10, and also herbals like echinacea. You may also find supplement formulas called multivitamins which contain both vitamins and other nutrients necessary for wellness.

Why take vitamins and supplements?

Taking vitamins and supplements is a good “insurance policy” to fill in any dietary gaps. Even if your diet chock full of superfoods that are brimming with nutrition, it’s likely that you’re missing out on some important nutrients. For example, unless you eat fatty fish regularly, you will need to supplement with omega-3 to get the heart and brain health benefits of fish oil. Beyond that, you can also supplement as part of your pursuit of a specific health goal—whether it’s vitamin C for immune support, collagen for healthy skin and joints, lutein and astaxanthin for eye health, sports supplements, or a specific health formula to support your healthy weight journey.

What are the most important supplements and vitamins?

To avoid a deficiency, you should take a high-quality multivitamin that includes at a minimum vitamin B-complex (consisting of vitamin B12, folic acid, biotin and other B vitamins), vitamin C, vitamin D3, and vitamin E, as well as calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. Curcumin is a great option for heart health, brain function, comfortable joints and more; prebiotics and probiotics support optimal digestive health (and who doesn’t want that?). If you follow a plant-based diet, you can obtain most of these vitamins and supplements from vegetarian capsules, including vegan vitamin D3.

How to choose quality vitamins and supplements?

Be a picky consumer when shopping for vitamins online! While you’ll find many natural food stores and online vitamin stores that offer a dizzying array of health products, ensure you’re choosing a brand that takes a science-based approach to the formulation of vitamins and supplements. Only order health products that have been tested for efficacy and can provide a Certificate of Analysis verifying quality and safety. Ensure the supplements are being shipped from a climate-controlled facility as well, since spoiling can happen in extreme heat. A final word to the wise: always check the expiration date on your supplements before consuming!

Why should I buy vitamins and supplements from Life Extension?

Established in 1980, Life Extension is one of the longest-standing vitamin brands and formulates every product based on scientific research, using the dosages from clinical studies. Choose from an extensive assortment of non-GMO and gluten-free vitamins and supplements, offered at affordable prices. Plus, our Premier Rewards program gives you the chance to earn rewards on every purchase. There’s no risk to order; Life Extension offers a complete one-year satisfaction guarantee return policy. Order today!

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