From Vitamin D to Folic Acid & Calcium – the key nutrients found in multivitamins & which ones you do need to take

<div>From Vitamin D to Folic Acid & Calcium – the key nutrients found in multivitamins & which ones you do need to take</div>

FOR many people, taking a multivitamin is as much a part of their daily routine as putting the kettle on in the morning – and we spend more than £460million on them every year.

But are you paying for things in that daily supplement that you could already be getting from your diet?

<div>From Vitamin D to Folic Acid & Calcium – the key nutrients found in multivitamins & which ones you do need to take</div>
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We look at some of the key nutrients found in multivitamins and explain which ones you do — and do not — need to take[/caption]

This month, the results of a new study where participants took a multivitamin every day for two years were revealed in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition — and showed this pill popping could help prevent memory loss in older people.

But researchers do not know which specific vitamins and ­minerals are responsible for that memory boost.

And often ­bundled in with nutrients that are essential for good health are some that are totally unnecessary if we are eating well.

Dr Carrie Ruxton, a dietitian at the Health And Food Supplements Information Service, told Sun on Sunday Health: “Apart from vitamin D, which we make in our bodies in response to summer sunlight, we should, in theory, be able to get all the nutrients we need from a healthy, balanced diet.

“The problem is we often don’t because of our busy lifestyles, a dislike of key nutrient sources such as fish, the higher cost of healthier options, a lack of ­cooking skills or just a preference for fast foods.”

Here, Dr Ruxton looks at some of the key nutrients found in multivitamins and explains which ones you do — and do not — need to take.

Vitamin D

NHS recommended intake: Children over one year and adults need ten micrograms a day in the winter months.

The Government recommends that everyone should take a daily supplement in winter and spring.

It is essential for bone health and immunity.

We produce 90 per cent of it in our bodies in response to sunlight, but around this time of year many of us are clinically deficient.

Food sources are limited to oily fish, eggs and some varieties of mushrooms.

Vitamin A

NHS recommended intake: Men need 700 micrograms a day, while women need 600 micrograms.

The richest source is fish liver oils and animal liver.

It’s vital for maintaining good eyesight and healthy skin.

In children, it is important for healthy development, too. Deficiency is rare.

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Iron is found mainly in meat and beans, such as red kidney, edamame and chickpeas[/caption]

Pantothenic Acid

NHS recommended intake: No amount has been set because it can be found in such a wide variety of foods.

This is involved in the metabolism of protein and fat and is needed for healthy growth.

It’s found in fortified breakfast cereals, wholegrain cereals, dairy, liver and kidneys.

Deficiencies are rare.

Vitamin K

NHS recommended intake: Adults need one microgram a day for each kg of body weight.

This is important for healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting and the healing of wounds.

It’s found in green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, plus potatoes, liver, soy beans and vegetable oils.

It’s also produced by bacteria in the gut, which makes it much easier to get your recommended levels every day, so deficiencies are rare.

Vitamin B12

NHS recommended intake: Adults need 1.5 micrograms a day.

This is only found in animal products — fish, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy.

It’s needed to produce red blood cells, which transport oxygen to tissues and organs.

A deficiency can lead to weak muscles and numbness.

Vitamin B12 is also important for the healthy function of brain and nerve cells.

Vegans should consider supplementing and so too should those over 75, as their digestion of B12 is less effective.

Everyone else should be getting their intake from their diet.

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Magnesium is is found in high-fibre foods, such as wholegrains and spinach[/caption]

Vitamins B1, B2, B6

NHS recommended intake for B1: Men need one mg while women need 0.8mg a day.

B2: 1.3mg a day for men and 1.1mg for women. B6: 1.4mg for men and 1.2mg for women.

Key food sources are protein-rich meat, fish, eggs, beans and dairy foods.

If you vary your protein sources you should get enough of these vitamins, which all have vital roles in the body, without supplementation.

Women who experience menstrual or menopause symptoms may benefit from a supplement.

Vitamin C

NHS recommended intake: Adults need 40mg a day.

Everyone who is eating the recommended five-a-day fruit and vegetables will be getting enough, but worryingly a quarter of UK adults and nine out of ten children are nowhere near achieving this.

Folic Acid

NHS recommended intake: Adults need 200 micrograms a day.

Recent government studies found that 90 per cent of women are deficient during their child-bearing years, which puts any future babies at risk of spina bifida.

Pregnant women are advised to supplement.

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Oily fish is a great source of vitamin D[/caption]

Calcium

NHS recommended intake: Adults need 700mg a day.

A trend for plant milks, instead of traditional cow’s milk, has led to one in ten women and a quarter of teenage girls not ­getting enough, which could affect their future bone health.

It is found in dairy and green leafy vegetables.

If you take calcium supplements, you need to combine it with vitamin D for it to work effectively.

Magnesium

NHS recommended intake: Men need 300mg a day, while women need 270mg a day.

Many teenagers and adults are lacking in this mineral.

It is found in high-fibre foods, such as wholegrains and spinach.

If you decide to supplement, it’s cheaper to go for a product that combines magnesium, ­calcium and vitamin D.

Iron

NHS recommended intake: Men aged 19 and over and women over 50 need 8.7mg day.

Women aged between 19 and 49 need 14.8mg a day.

Half of teenage girls and a third of women have low iron intakes, risking deficiency.

Iron is found mainly in meat and beans, such as red kidney, edamame and chickpeas.

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A trend for plant milks, instead of traditional cow’s milk, has led to women not ­getting enough calcium[/caption]

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