Doctor-Recommended Supplements

Most doctors, personal trainers, fitness teachers, and nutritionists take supplements. Some take a pile of pills a day, while others just take a multivitamin to make up for anything their diet might lack. Some take vitamin E to ward off heart disease, while others take calcium for bone loss, or folic acid to prevent birth defects.

Most experts agree — although no groups officially recommend — that you take a multivitamin supplement (that includes some minerals, too) for general health insurance. These supplements will rarely give you too much of a certain vitamin, while they may ensure that you actually get enough of what you need.

You might consider an antioxidant supplement, such as vitamins C and E, especially if you don't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Other specific recommendations are for B vitamins (good for mood regulation and the reproductive system, especially if you're a vegetarian), and a calcium-magnesium-zinc supplement if you fear bone loss, or don't consume dairy products.

Can I get my vitamins and minerals from fortified cereal?

Yes. The only problem with many fortified cereals is that they contain a high amount of processed flour and sugar, which aren't good for you. If your choice is between a bowl of corn flakes and whole milk, or two slices of whole-wheat bread with peanut butter plus a multivitamin, eat the more nutritious food and take the supplement. The calories are being delivered in a much healthier way via the bread and peanut butter, including more fiber, less sugar, and healthy fats and protein.

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