Vitamin K

Vitamin K is usually the nutrient that most people don’t know anything about or haven’t even heard of before. It is a fat soluble vitamin and it’s most important role is involved in the formation of a blood clot. Vitamin K is made up of a family of compounds also known as quinones and is used by the liver to make blood clotting factors and is also really important in activating these factors when blood clotting is needed. It may also have an important role in Read more of this post

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Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin and is actually the name given to a family of 8 different naturally occurring chemicals which have a range of functions within the body. Primarily, vitamin E is an essential part of the bodies anti-oxidant system and helps protect the body against oxidative stress. Anti-oxidants fight oxidative stress by ‘defusing’ the damaging chemical reactions triggered by Read more of this post

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the vitamin that we get from the sun. It is actually not considered a true vitamin but a pro-hormone created by the action of sunlight on the skin and then activated by the liver and kidneys. The activated form of vitamin D has a number of functions within the body, one of the most important being Read more of this post

Anyone Keen for Expensive Wee? Part 3

This is the third and final post in a series of posts on vitamin and mineral supplements. You can read the other 2 posts here:
Anyone keen for expensive wee? Part 1
Anyone keen for expensive wee? Part 2

I believe that knowledge is power. The purpose of these posts is to encourage you to become educated about your nutrition and health choices and to know whether vitamin and mineral supplements are right for you.

Generally speaking, supplements are only necessary in cases of special dietary needs or unique phases of life. Here is some recommended reading on the following population groups and special phases of life where supplements may be necessary.

Special Dietary Needs
This is a great article on your choices when it comes to meeting your dietary requirements for calcium and you can’t or don’t eat dairy products. Generally, unless you are drinking fortified soy products, a supplement is the best way to go to ensure adequate calcium for healthy bones.

When you can’t eat dairy products.

Vegan/Vegetarian
Becoming a vegetarian is usually a very well thought out and personal decision, at least it should be. This article gives some great advice on how to ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients and points out the areas you need to be mindful of. If you are unable to follow this advice then it may be worth looking at taking a supplement to bridge the gap for vitamin B12, calcium, zinc and iron.

What do I need to know if I want to go vego or vegan?

Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very special time of life and as such growing a healthy baby requires good nutrition, before, during and after pregnancy. These 2 articles look at 2 major nutrient issues in pregnancy and offer advice on how to achieve the right balance.

Iodine and pregnancy
Folic acid, good for your baby

Stressed/Tired
These types of supplements, in my opinion, are not necessary and you are better off spending your money on other things. The main reason is that these supplements generally contain B vitamins. B vitamins are vital for the breakdown and metabolism of carbohydrates and the thus the health claims on the packet are that taking these supplements will give you more energy. The fact is, in western, developed countries, B vitamin deficiencies are very rare and consuming more than we need doesn’t give us any more energy as any excess is just excreted by the kidneys.

The 2 articles below give you some great ideas on what you can do to increase your energy levels throughout the day and beat that afternoon slump.

Increasing your energy levels
The top 12 energy drainers

I have just covered the most common special needs that may require nutrient supplementation in this post.  I’d love to hear your comments if you take supplements for reasons other than what I’ve discussed today.

Would you like to know whether or not your diet is putting you at risk of a vitamin and mineral deficiency? Kate Freeman Nutrition can offer you a Dietary Analysis, which will give you an insight into your diet, it’s strengths and weaknesses and advice on how you can improve it.

Please email me at katefreemannutrition@gmail.com for more information.