We all know that we need vitamins to live, but few people truly understand what vitamins are or what they do inside our bodies. In this section, we will try to answer some of the frequently asked questions about vitamins.
Should I get my vitamins from food or from supplements?
It's always better to get your vitamins in the form of natural foods. Food contains other chemicals that help your body absorb vitamins and minerals. However, many people don't get enough vitamins in their diets (usually because they don't have the time or energy to prepare healthy food and instead eat highly-processed foods such as fast food). Try to get as many vitamins as you can from food, but it's also a good idea to supplement your diet with vitamin pills (this is why they're called supplements).
When should I take my vitamins?
Vitamins should be taken with food, as they can cause stomach discomfort if taken on an empty stomach.
How many vitamins should I take?
The answer to this question varies from person to person, so you should consult your physician to find out your ideal dosage.
Can you overdose on vitamins?
It's very hard to overdose on vitamins. You can't overdose in the same way you can overdose on drugs like cocaine or heroin, but that doesn't mean that more is always better when it comes to vitamins. Usually, if you take more vitamins than your body needs, the excess vitamins are excreted. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin and iron can damage the body if the dosage is too high.
Will taking vitamins reduce my stress levels?
No, vitamins alone cannot reduce stress (despite what the label on your supplement may claim). However, eating healthier and getting exercise can reduce stress. Vitamins can be a key part of a lifestyle change that will improve your stress levels.
Are vitamins ever dangerous?
Generally, over-the-counter vitamins (particularly multivitamins) are safe for everyone to take, but there are some people who react negatively to certain vitamins. Consult your doctor immediately if you show any signs of a negative reaction to a vitamin or supplement.
Can you really get vitamin D from the sun?
Yes, the body can absorb vitamin D from the sun. However, since many of us spend most of our days indoors and away from the sun, it's a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D can also be obtained from foods like milk and fish.
Why do vitamins make my urine yellow?
When you take vitamins, the body doesn't absorb everything. It flushes out the excess vitamins in your urine. The dark yellow color is usually the result of excess vitamin B2 (riboflavin).