Vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements are not meant as a substitute for food. They cannot replace the nutrients in fresh, whole foods. However, when a diet falls short of essential nutrients like potassium, calcium or the B-complex vitamins, dietary supplements can take up the slack.
Vitamin and mineral supplements have many health benefits, and they fill the nutritional gaps when essential nutrients are missing from the diet. They prevent deficiencies that contribute to chronic health conditions. When combined with healthy foods, they boost energy, fight off colds and help regulate body functions.
Beyond filling the gaps in nutrition, supplementation can be advantageous in other ways. Calcium supplements strengthen the bones and reduce fractures in post-menopausal women. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and wards off certain types of cancer. The B-complex vitamins, eight in all, promote growth and development. The “power nutrient” known as potassium balances various body functions. (more…)