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Why Vitamin Supplements Are Important for Your Health


Vitamins and minerals are essential for just about everything your body needs to do on a day-to-day basis.

 A nutrient-dense, varied diet can deliver most of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly. But not every day is going to be a flawless-eating day, and that’s where a daily vitamin and mineral supplement can help.

“Try as we may, life is busy. And healthy eating isn't always in the cards,” says Anna Bohnengel, MS, RD, LD, a fertility nutritionist and founder of Nourish Life Nutrition, LLC. “Vitamins can relieve some of the stress of trying to do it all perfectly, giving you a nutritional insurance policy.”

Here’s how vitamins and minerals can benefit your body—and why you should make a multivitamin part of your daily routine.

Benefits of Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

What are vitamins?

Vitamins are organic compounds found in plants and animals.1

These micronutrients promote healthy cell function, support the immune system, help your body convert food into energy, and more.2

There are 13 key vitamins the body needs to function properly:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7)
  • Folate (Vitamin B9)

What are minerals?

Minerals are inorganic compounds are found in rocks, soil, and water.3

Plants absorb these minerals as they grow, and animals consume those plants so we get dietary minerals by eating a variety of plants and animal proteins. Certain foods and beverages may also be fortified with minerals.

Minerals help to support your bones, muscles, heart health, brain health, hormone production, and more. They’re classified as either macrominerals or trace minerals, depending on how much of that mineral your body needs.4

 Your body needs larger amount of macrominerals. These include:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Sulfur

You body only needs small amounts of trace minerals, but they’re still essential for healthy functioning. These include:

  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Zinc
  • Cobalt
  • Fluoride
  • Selenium

Fat-Soluble Vitamins vs. Water-Soluble Vitamins

You may have heard these terms before, so what’s the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins?

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver, fatty tissue, and muscles. Dietary fats help your body to absorb these vitamins.

 The four fat-soluble vitamins and their key functions are:5

  • Vitamin A
    Helps to build and maintain healthy teeth, bones, soft tissue, mucous membranes, and skin.
  • Vitamin D
    Helps with calcium absorption.
  • Vitamin E
    An antioxidant that helps the body make red blood cells and use vitamin K.
  • Vitamin K
    Necessary for healthy blood clotting and bone formation.

Because fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your body, they can accumulate over time, so consuming too much may be harmful. For example, excess vitamin A may lead to symptoms of toxicity ranging from nausea and vomiting to liver damage and birth defects.6

A multivitamin should provide enough of these vitamins to avoid deficiency, while helping to sidestep the potential risks associated with super-high doses.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion, and any excess is typically eliminated from the body through urine. Most water-soluble vitamins need to be replenished every few days.

However, some water-soluble vitamins may be stored in the body long-term. For example, vitamin B12 can be stored in the liver for years.7

The nine water-soluble vitamins and their key functions are:8

  • Vitamin C
    An antioxidant that helps with iron absorption, tissue growth and repair, and wound healing.
  • Vitamin B1
    Supports heart function and healthy nerve cells, and helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy.
  • Vitamin B2
    Helps with red blood cell production.
  • Vitamin B3
    Helps to maintain healthy skin and nerves.
  • Vitamin B6
    Supports red blood cell formation and brain function.
  • Vitamin B12
    Helps with metabolism and red blood cell formation.
  • Pantothenic Acid
    Helps with metabolism and hormone production.
  • Biotin
    Helps with metabolism and hormone production.
  • Folate
    Necessary for red blood cell formation and DNA production, and may help pregnant women to protect against certain birth defects.

How Do I Get All the Vitamins I Need?

You can get many of the vitamins and minerals you need each day by eating a wide variety of whole foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, dairy, lean meats, fish, nuts, and seeds.

But on those days when your eating habits aren’t quite up to par, a daily multivitamin can help make up for any nutrients you may have missed out on.

Our Women’s Daily Vitamin Trio includes a blend of vitamins for full-spectrum nutrition, along with the chelated format of key minerals to ensure optimal absorption.

What Are the Benefits of Taking Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?

Here are a few potential benefits of taking a daily multivitamin, even if you typically follow a nutrient-rich diet.

  1. Fill in the gaps.

“The main benefit of taking vitamin supplements is that it can fill in any nutritional gaps you may have in your diet,” says Katie Tomaschko, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and contributor at Sporting Smiles.

 “It is pretty much impossible to eat 100 percent of your daily value of 100 percent of nutrients, 100 percent of the time,” Tomaschko adds. “Vitamin supplements can help you increase your intake and absorption of important nutrients.”

  1. Avoid deficiencies.

Some people may consistently fall short on certain nutrients due to dietary restrictions, allergies, and food preferences.

For example, Tomaschko says, vegetarians and vegans may need to supplement with iron and vitamin B12, since animal products are some of the best sources of these nutrients. Vitamin D is synthesized with the help of sunlight, so someone in a gloomy climate may need to supplement. If you don’t enjoy fish, you may want to take a multivitamin that includes omega-3 fatty acids.

 “Multivitamins are a good general way to ‘cover your bases’ nutritionally,” Tomaschko says.

  1. Support overall health.

Vitamins and minerals keep your cells and organs functioning properly.

“Vitamins play all sorts of roles in the body, including in helping to maintain our body's structures, aiding in energy production, and maintaining the health of various parts of the body,” says Jinan Banna, PhD, RD, a registered dietitian and professor of nutrition.

  1. Get harder-to-find nutrients.

Some essential nutrients aren’t readily available from food sources, Bohnengel says.

For example, some of the top food sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, sardines, and beef liver9 — which aren’t meal plan staples for many people.

Supplementation can help you catch up on the vitamins and minerals that may be difficult to get through food intake alone.

  1. Improve your mood.

Even minor inadequacies in your diet can leave you feeling a bit blah. Research suggests vitamin and mineral supplements may help to reduce levels of perceived stress and improve overall mood.10

  1. Support a healthy pregnancy.

Getting enough vitamins and minerals is even more important when you’re pregnant, since you need to support your own health and your baby’s growth and development.

“Even in resource-rich countries, people with ovaries typically don’t eat enough of some of the most essential micronutrients,” Bohnengel says.

In particular, she says, many women fall short on folate, choline, and iron. If you’re expecting, look for a prenatal multivitamin that includes these important micronutrients.

Ready to boost your daily nutrition? Shop doctor-made vitamins targeted to your exact stage of womanhood now.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.

1 Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health; The Nutrition Source: Vitamins and Minerals

 2 Medline Plus: Vitamins

3 Harvard Health Publishing; Precious metals and other important minerals for health; Feb 2021

4 Medline Plus: Minerals

5 Medline Plus: Vitamins

6 Mayo Clinic: Vitamin A 

7 Medline Plus: Vitamin B12

8 Medline Plus: Vitamins

9 National Institutes of Health; Vitamin D: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals

10 Sara-Jayne Long and David Benton; Effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation on stress, mild psychiatric symptoms, and mood in nonclinical samples: a meta-analysis; Feb 2013