» Staying Healthy With Vitamins Nearly half of all Americans take vitamin supplements to stay healthy, but it’s not always clear which ones are beneficial and which are superfluous. There are two guidelines to follow: First, aim to consume the vitamins and minerals you need from your diet; that is, the food you eat. Second, talk to your doctor before you decide on supplements, particularly if you have any health conditions. The research is mixed on whether a plain multivitamin, in particular, really makes a difference, but think of it as an insurance policy—it fills in the gaps where your meals fall a little short. Beyond that, consider a vitamin D supplement, especially if you live in a not-so-sunny climate, as well as calcium—if you’re over age 50—and B9 (folate) if you’re considering having a baby in the next few years. Other vitamins and minerals that Americans don’t often get enough of in their diet include vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. See “Vim, Vigor and Vitamins,” March 2017, for more details.
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