Cure or Dummy: Everything You Should Know About Supplements and Vitamins

Supplement Prophylaxis: What, Why, and How

Vitamins are organic substances that make our bodies function properly and allow all chemical reactions to proceed without interference. However, the World Health Organization notes that vitamin deficiencies occur in almost everyone.

Marika Magazine helps you understand what causes it and what you should pay attention to in order to avoid negative consequences.
The article is for informational purposes only. Marika Magazine is not a medical organization and if you are concerned about your health, contact a specialist.
- Supplements are the same as medicine?
That's a false statement. Supplements are not considered medicines. They are to reinforce or supplement the need for nutrition and don't need to be prescribed when medicines give a cure to illness or diseases and are aimed at a particular body part. Simply put, supplements cannot cure the flu, but they can help prevent it and improve your overall health.
- So what's the point of supplements?
To fill the gap in your nutrition. We get vitamins through food, but unfortunately, this is not enough as some vitamins are not synthesized by organisms. Special diets, having body features, or taking antibiotics lead to vitamin deficiency. As a result, internal organs and vital body systems work worse. The consequences can range from reduced immunity and sleep disorders to skin or digestive tract problems. To ensure the normal functioning of the body, supplements are taken. But do not run and swallow all the supplements you can get. Each person has his own dosage.
- And how do I know my dosage?
As a mature person, you go to a clinic and take tests, then show them to an expert. Before that, all you can do by yourself is pay attention to your physical state. Maybe you are dissatisfied with the condition of your skin, notice irritability or insomnia, or you get tired quickly.
Let's examine what your body's signals may mean and which elements are most often deficient.
Retinol, or Vitamin A
Deficiency symptoms: dry skin, brittle hair, transverse nail streaks, chicken blindness, skin rashes

Where: liver, carrot, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin, cod liver oil, salmon

Dietary studies show that many adults in the US are not meeting their dietary needs for vitamin A (Micronutrient Inadequacies in the US Population: an Overview, 2017). Many of them attribute skin or eye problems to age or climate, which is fundamentally wrong.

Vitamin A is essential for the synthesis of rhodopsin, the pigment of the photoreceptors in the retina, so if your eyesight deteriorates, you should get tested for retinol before you go to the ophthalmologist. Vitamin A is also one of the crucial supplements for women in their thirties.
Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2
Deficiency symptoms: lethargy, insomnia, decreased visual acuity, cracked lips, digestive disorders, hair loss

Where: fish, green peas, buckwheat, oatmeal, yeast

Because vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin that is excreted from the body on a daily basis, it must be replenished every day. According to the US National Library of Medicine, a diet high in riboflavin may lower the risk of cataracts and the frequency of migraine headaches.
Pyridoxine, or Vitamin B6
Deficiency symptoms: skin rashes, mood changes, cracked lips, increased fatigue, Impaired immunity, cramps

Where: poultry, fish, nuts, broccoli, asparagus, green peas, chickpeas

Vitamin B6 receives little attention in today's world, and many people do not get enough of it. However, this micronutrient is critical for overall health. One of the most common causes may be the use of medications that reduce the amount of vitamin B6 in the body.
Biotin, or Vitamin B7
Deficiency symptoms: frequent hair loss, rashes on the skin, brittle nails, fatigue, mood swings

Where: meat, egg yolk, dairy products, avocado, cauliflower

Strong nails, shiny hair, and glowing skin are the result of biotin, which synthesizes glucose and converts food into energy. According to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), a daily dose of biotin is three cooked eggs or half a pound of salmon, so it's more convenient and cheaper to have supplements.
Folic acid, or Vitamin B9
Deficiency symptoms: fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, lethargy

Where: green leafy vegetables, baked goods made of wholemeal flour, citrus fruits

One of the most important vitamins for women. It's involved in hematopoiesis and helps restore hemoglobin levels along with iron medicines. For those who suffer from heavy menstruation, these medicines should be taken in a prophylactic dose before every period.
Cobalamin, or Vitamin B12
Deficiency symptoms: tingling sensation in the body and extremities, chronic fatigue, memory loss, difficulty concentrating

Where: meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, fortified cereals and soymilk

According to a US Department of Agriculture study, only 8% of women do not get enough of B12 as the daily rate of B12 is two glasses of milk or 85 grams of ground beef. But those on a vegetarian or vegan diet may have a deficiency of B12 as it's found mostly in animal products.
Calciferol, or Vitamin D
Deficiency symptoms: fatigue, bone pain, mood changes, muscle aches, and weakness

Where: fortified milk or margarine, fortified cereals, fatty fish

Detecting vitamin D deficiency by symptoms alone is difficult because most people don't experience them. The only way to be sure is to have blood tests done in a lab to determine your vitamin D levels.

It's important to note that the best natural source of vitamin D is ultraviolet rays from the sun. It's worth introducing vitamin D into your diet if you can't be in the sun for 10-15 minutes a day.
Deficiency symptoms: increased irritability, apathy, fatigue, poor appetite, pale skin

Where: shellfish, red meat, spinach, beans, broccoli, tofu, dark chocolate

According to the WHO, anemia affects about a quarter of the world's population. Women who do not menstruate should probably get blood iron tests. Because iron is harder to absorb from plants, experts suggest vegetarians should also pay attention to iron.
Deficiency symptoms: dry thinning skin, low mood, stiff joints, concentration and sleep problems

Where: flax oil, chia seeds, walnuts, fish (NOT farm raised)

This is polyunsaturated fatty acid, or, to speak unscientifically, the most valuable source of women's health. Regular intake of Omega-3 normalizes digestion and reproductive processes; improves immune and endocrine systems; and retains moisture in the skin, moisturizing it and smoothing wrinkles.

When it comes to choosing a good Omega-3, the percentage of EPA and DHA acids should be at least 60%. Another lifehack is to check the acid content per 1000 mg capsule: EPA should be at least 180 and DHA should be at least 120. The higher the fatty acid content, the greater the health benefits.
Compatibility table for supplements
✓- compatible
☓ - not compatible
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