Google searches for “What vitamin supplements should I take” (+21%) and “Is it good to take multivitamins” (+29%) have both increased in the UK as people seek more information on what supplements they do or don’t need.
The UK’s leading vitamin brand Vitabiotics has revealed what we can incorporate into our diets in autumn to support optimal body function.
While each person’s needs are very individualistic, some vitamins are harder to obtain through food so a supplement can be a good addition.
Some key vitamins support healthy body function that you may wish to consider over the cooler months
As Vitamin D is harder to obtain through food, you may need to incorporate a Vitamin D tablet during the autumn and winter when we don’t have the benefit of natural sunlight to help make vitamin D naturally. The UK Department of Health recommends everyone aged over 4 years should consider taking a daily supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D during this time.
Vitamin C, Iron and Zinc
If you want to support your immune system, vitamin C, iron and zinc all help support normal immune function.
Winters can be harsh on our skin, so if you are concerned about supporting skin health, biotin would be something to consider, as it contributes to healthy skin and hair.
Vitabiotics revealed which demographics may need additional support from vitamins
When trying for a baby, the UK Department of Health recommends taking a supplement containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily – from before you’re pregnant until the 12th week of pregnancy. Low maternal folate status is a risk factor for developing neural tube defects in the developing fetus but taking a supplemental folic acid supplement increases maternal folate status.
Other important nutrients to consider include calcium which helps maintain normal bones and teeth, omega-3 DHA, which contributes to normal brain and eye development of the fetus, iron which supports normal oxygen transport in the body and iodine, which supports normal cognitive function. You should avoid taking a vitamin A supplement during pregnancy as this can harm the developing baby.
Those trying to conceive
If you are trying to conceive, the mineral zinc is an important nutrient for both him and her, as it is scientifically proven to contribute to normal fertility and reproduction.
Vision concerned: For someone concerned about their vision, such as contact lens wearers or those working long hours at a computer screen, vitamins A and riboflavin, zinc, plus omega-3 DHA, all contribute to maintaining normal vision.
Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D is important for all ages. Still, as we get older, our bone density can decrease – calcium, magnesium and vitamin D all help to support the maintenance of normal bones.
People on a plant-based diet
Obtaining all the nutrients our bodies need can be difficult if you follow a solely plant-based diet. Important nutrients to supplement here include iron and vitamin B12 to help support normal red blood cell formation.
Nutritional requirements will vary depending on the age and lifestyle of the individual. As a general guide, it’s recommended that everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) take a supplement containing vitamin D in autumn and winter when sunlight levels are lower.
It’s worth noting that a healthy and balanced diet, incorporating a diverse selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, wholegrain foods, and healthy sources of protein, ensures a good balance of essential nutrients.
However, there may be occasions when achieving this ideal diet becomes challenging for some of us. A good, well-formulated multivitamin can be taken daily to help safeguard the diet and plug any nutritional gaps of key vitamins and minerals to support our health, particularly during the cooler months.