The vitamins you need

While there is still much controversy about the optimum intakes for vitamins and minerals, it's important to try to make the most of the information that's available.

Prof John Hathcock, vice-president of Scientific and International Affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition in Washington, USA, gives the following advice:

  • Eat the best possible diet.
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Avoid high-risk behaviours (e.g. smoking and excess drinking).
  • Start a regular programme of nutritional supplementation, and keep it up as long-term daily supplementation is most protective.

He recommends the following basic supplements:

  • A multivitamin, with minerals.
  • Calcium (500 or 1000mg per day, depending on your dairy consumption), preferably with vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E (200-400IU)
  • Vitamin C (200-500mg)
  • Vitamin D (400-2000IU)

Health24 would like to advise that nutrient supplementation should be done under the guidance of a medical doctor or registered dietician.

- (Health24, March 2008)

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