What's the most important vitamin to take?

The role it plays in so many bodily functions and the staggering number of people who suffer from it make vitamin D the most important vitamin for the body in general, and it's very likely that you're not getting enough. Vitamin A keeps the heart, lungs, liver, and other organs working properly.

What's the most important vitamin to take?

The role it plays in so many bodily functions and the staggering number of people who suffer from it make vitamin D the most important vitamin for the body in general, and it's very likely that you're not getting enough. Vitamin A keeps the heart, lungs, liver, and other organs working properly. Also called beta-carotene, it is important for reproductive, visual and immune health. You can get vitamin A from beef liver, salmon, broccoli, carrots, squash, leafy greens, cantaloupe, apricots, mangoes, dairy products, and fortified cereals.

You can get vitamin B from meat, poultry, fish, offal, eggs, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and fortified cereals, breads and pasta. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C boosts the immune system and increases iron absorption from plant-based foods and supplements. As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects our cells from harmful free radicals. It also helps wound healing by helping our body produce collagen.

If you smoke, you need 35 mg more vitamin C per day than non-smokers, as the body needs more vitamin C to repair cellular damage caused by free radicals in tobacco smoke. Vitamin C is obtained from citrus fruits and juices, kiwi, red and green peppers, strawberries, melons, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, tomato juice and baked potatoes (when cooked this way, with the skin on, it retains folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin C). It also stimulates the functioning of the immune system. Vitamin D isn't found naturally in many foods.

Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, most of the vitamin D our body obtains is absorbed from the sun through the skin. Vitamin D foods include salmon, tuna, mackerel, beef liver, egg yolks, mushrooms, and milks and cereals fortified with dairy products and nuts. Vitamin E protects our cells from free radicals, boosts our immune system and helps prevent blood clots. You can get vitamin E from sunflower, safflower and wheat germ oils, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, spinach, chard, avocados, and butternut squash.

Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting and bone health. You may need more vitamin K if you've had bariatric surgery to lose weight or if you have a malabsorption disorder. You can get vitamin K from spinach, kale, lettuce, broccoli, soybeans, blueberries, figs, meat, cheese, eggs, and vegetable oils. Approximately 99 percent of the body's calcium is found in bones and teeth, where it is crucial for structural support.

The rest is found in blood, muscles and intracellular fluids, where it is a fundamental part of many metabolic, neurological and muscular functions. Postmenopausal women (who are at high risk of osteoporosis) and people who don't eat dairy products (a major source of calcium) are the most likely to need calcium supplements. You can get calcium from dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and yogurt), fortified non-dairy milks (such as almond, soy, and rice milks), fortified orange juice, sardines with bones, tofu (if prepared with calcium), collard greens, kale, and broccoli. Iron is an essential part of the formation of red blood cells, specifically hemoglobin, a protein that binds with oxygen to oxygen through the blood from the lungs to cells throughout the body.

Vegetarians need to consume almost twice as much iron per day because iron from plant-based foods is less available to the body than iron found in animal products. Pregnant women and people with iron deficiency anemia may also need supplements. You can get iron from meat (especially red meat and liver), seafood, lentils, beans, tofu, cashews, and broccoli. Contact your pharmacist for more information on supplements.

Some vitamins (such as vitamin E) are dangerous in high doses and some may interact negatively with other medications or medical treatments. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamins and minerals is the average daily intake that a person needs to avoid deficiencies and stay healthy. Men and women generally have different vitamin and mineral recommendations. There are different ways to measure RDA.

The vitamins and minerals needed in higher doses are measured in milligrams, and those that the body needs the least are measured in micrograms. There are 1000 micrograms in 1 milligram. Each vitamin and mineral has a specific RDA. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin also known as retinol.

The recommended daily dose of vitamin A is 700 micrograms for women and 900 micrograms for men. Vitamin A is found in many dairy products and in yellow or orange fruits and vegetables. There are eight B vitamins, which make up the vitamin B complex, with different recommended daily doses. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), most Americans don't get their recommended daily dose of B vitamins in their daily nutrition.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that contains antioxidants that promote healthy tissue growth. The recommended daily dose for men is 90 milligrams and 75 milligrams for women. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables. For those who have an iron deficiency, vitamin C can help the body absorb it better.

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is activated by ultraviolet (UV) light. In addition to sun exposure, vitamin D is also found in cod liver oil, fatty fish, fortified juices, milk, and cereals. These can be a healthy alternative when a person doesn't get enough UV light. For children and adults, the recommended daily dose is 15 micrograms (600 IU).

For people age 70 and older, it's 20 micrograms (800 IU). Vitamin E is an important vitamin for organ function. You should get 15 milligrams a day. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, avocados, spinach, seeds and nuts, and whole grains.

Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. The recommended daily dose of vitamin K is 120 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women. This protein-rich vitamin is found primarily in green leafy vegetables. Iron helps carry oxygen in the blood.

A lack of iron can cause a weak immune system and fatigue. Men and women should consume between 8 and 18 milligrams of iron a day. Iron is found in red meat, green leafy vegetables, and legumes. Vitamins help your body grow and work as it should.

There are 13 essential vitamins, vitamins A, C, D, E, K and B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12 and folic acid). People who are most at risk of suffering from magnesium deficiency are those who eat diets rich in processed foods, have blood sugar abnormalities or diabetes, drink large amounts of alcohol, take diuretics or proton pump inhibitors, have gastrointestinal conditions, have been taking antibiotics for a long time, or are deficient in vitamin D. A study of adults over 50 years of age showed that less than 50% of them had adequate levels of vitamin E, folic acid and magnesium through diet alone. Orange juice, cherries, red peppers, kale and grapefruit are some examples of foods in which this popular vitamin is found.

Another CDC report estimated that 90 million Americans are deficient in vitamin D, 30 million in vitamin B12, 18 million in vitamin B6 and 16 million in vitamin C. Vitamin A: This fat-soluble vitamin is often found in carrots and other vegetables with similar pigmentation. The richest sources of vitamin B6 are fish, beef liver, potatoes and other starchy vegetables and fruits (except citrus fruits). Low magnesium levels can cause problems with vitamin D metabolism, weakening of bones, irregular heartbeats and irregular blood pressure, blood sugar problems, irritability and anxiety, muscle cramps and contractions, and fatigue.

Supplements can be used to get the recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy body. However, the most effective way to get vitamin B12 is through foods such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and fortified breakfast cereals. There are eight different essential B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin). However, some people may have conditions that require vitamin or mineral supplements in addition to what they get through their normal diet.


Ernie Levitt
Ernie Levitt

Beeraholic. Evil pop culture expert. General zombieaholic. Passionate zombie aficionado. Certified web specialist. Proud internet practitioner.