Vitamins, alongside a varied balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, can help support your health but knowing which one is right for you can be confusing. We're here with advice and product recommendations so you can find the right vitamins, minerals and supplements for you and your family.
Do I need vitamins and supplements?
When you’re enjoying a nutritiously balanced diet and healthy lifestyle you should be getting all the vitamins you need from the foods you eat. However, sometimes life gets in the way and you may find it hard to get all the vitamins you need, that's where vitamins and supplements can help. There may also be times in your life where you need a little extra support to make sure your body has everything it needs.
During the autumn and winter months when sunlight is lacking here in the UK a vitamin D supplement is recommended to help keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. We get most of our vitamin D from sunlight, certain foods and supplements, the vitamin also supports your immune system. If you’re pregnant or trying to have a baby, there are a range of health vitamins that you can take, or you may be recommended to support your body and fertility. It’s important to remember that food supplements shouldn’t be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
What are the benefits of vitamins?
There are 13 essential vitamins and many minerals that your body needs, and each one has their own list of benefits. Each one supports your health in their own unique way and the benefits of vitamins can be seen in every aspect of your body. There are vitamins for skin health and vitamins for eye health, minerals that help your body get energy from the food you eat, and ones that help hair grow.
With so many supplements to choose from it can be hard to know what’s right for you. We have a variety of support and guides to explain the differences so you can find the vitamin that is best suited to you and your family.
What's the difference between vitamins and supplements?
Vitamins are organic compounds which our bodies make to help us to function properly, vitamins help support everything from eye health to our skin. However, our bodies sometimes don’t make enough of the vitamins they need so we can get these from other sources, including food and supplements.
The foods we eat are full of nutritious vitamins that help support our health and wellbeing, from vitamin A which helps your immune system to iron which helps the body make red blood cells that take oxygen to every part of your body. That’s why it’s so important to eat a varied, balanced and healthy diet full of all the main food groups, our healthy eating guide is a great place to start if you’re looking to shake up your routine.
Vitamins are essential, but sometimes we can’t get enough from our diet alone and that’s where supplements can be beneficial. Available in tablet, capsule, gummy and spray forms they’re designed to complement your diet or be added to it throughout the day. Supplements aren’t a substitute for your 5 a day or family meals, they’re a little helper for your body when you need it most.
Taking vitamins and supplements safely
If you’re looking to introduce vitamins and supplements into your daily routine there’s a few things you should be aware of first. Depending on your own personal circumstances and health or even age some vitamins may not be suitable for you. So, to ensure that they’re safe for you to take you can speak to one of our pharmacists or your doctor about what may be right for you. Make sure to read the label for dosage advice as well as online guides and the NHS website. There may also be ingredients that aren't safe for you to have, or you may choose not to eat, for example if you have a seafood allergy or want halal vitamins and supplements instead.
What vitamins and supplements should I take?
The type of vitamins, minerals and supplements you should be taking will depend on lots of factors. You may have been recommended a certain type by a healthcare professional due to a deficiency or health condition, or perhaps you’re unsure which exact one would be beneficial for you.
Read through our guides for more information and discover which type, brand and vitamin format would be helpful for you to take.
Is it better to get vitamins from food or supplements?
Ideally you should be able to get all the vitamins you need from your diet. Sometimes this isn’t always possible, or you may not be able to get the amount of a certain vitamin from your food due to your diet or lifestyle.
This is where a supplement can help, they’re not a substitute for a healthy balanced diet, but a nifty add-on.