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Question
Posted by: Sandra | 2010/02/08

supplements

Dear Dietdoc, I see you give very valuable advice to people, so I hope you can help me too.

If there is one thing I' m really confused about it' s whether I /my kids should take supplements. One expert would say NO, not if you eat lots of fruit and vegetables, etc, another one would say YES, the fresh produce nowadays don' t have all the vitamins& minerals required. My kids are pre-teens, I' m 50 years of age.

We have never taken any supplements, we are quite a healthy family (sinusitis now and then), and we eat at least 2 servings of vegetables with lunch, and an average total of 4 servings of varied fruit as snacks (to school and to work) and with dinner. Most of the cereals for breakfast we eat seems to be fortified one way or another. We have each about 150ml milk with breakfast, one or two cheese wedges for snacks, 1 small jogurt at night.

I' ve also started taking 1 CalCVita per day for no reason other than my pharmacist telling me he takes it!

Do we need to supplement this with minerals/vitamins/calcium?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Sandra
Thank you for your kind words which I appreciate. In view of recent research studies the general recommendation from dietitians and nutritionists is that anyone who is eating a balanced diet and is not ill, actually does not need to take any vitamin, mineral or essential fatty acid supplements and that avoiding excessive intake of esp vitamin supplements may protect against increased mortality! I would recommend that people eating a western diet should take omega-3 supplements (not omega-6 because our diets are rich in omega-6 derived from plant oils) or Salmon oil capsules. If you don't eat dairy products or drink milk (3 servings a day) then you probably also need to take a calcium supplements such as MenaCal.7 (which also contains vits D and K to ensure that the calcium is deposited in your bones and teeth and not in your arteries). A healthier option is to rather have low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products 3 times a day. If you do decide that you need to take a supplement then use one that combines vitamins and minerals like Centrum or Supradyn and take it every second day. These vitamin and minerals supplements do not contain omega-3 and you will still have to take the Salmon oil capsules in addition. I would in general only recommend that you and your children take some omega-3.
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/02/08

Dear Sandra
Thank you for your kind words which I appreciate. In view of recent research studies the general recommendation from dietitians and nutritionists is that anyone who is eating a balanced diet and is not ill, actually does not need to take any vitamin, mineral or essential fatty acid supplements and that avoiding excessive intake of esp vitamin supplements may protect against increased mortality! I would recommend that people eating a western diet should take omega-3 supplements (not omega-6 because our diets are rich in omega-6 derived from plant oils) or Salmon oil capsules. If you don't eat dairy products or drink milk (3 servings a day) then you probably also need to take a calcium supplements such as MenaCal.7 (which also contains vits D and K to ensure that the calcium is deposited in your bones and teeth and not in your arteries). A healthier option is to rather have low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products 3 times a day. If you do decide that you need to take a supplement then use one that combines vitamins and minerals like Centrum or Supradyn and take it every second day. These vitamin and minerals supplements do not contain omega-3 and you will still have to take the Salmon oil capsules in addition. I would in general only recommend that you and your children take some omega-3.
Best regards
DietDoc

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