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Vitamins and minerals are two groups of naturally occurring substances essential to human health. Normally we would get all the nutrition we need from our food and diet, however there are 3 main issues that may prevent this.
1. Changes in the way foods are grown, processed, stored and cooked have led to a lowering in the nutritional content of foods.
2. Changes in the types of food we eat have led to an increase in calorie rich, nutrition poor foods in our diet (e.g. grains such as wheat now dominate our plates in bread, pasta, pizza, pastry, biscuits, cakes and more.
3. Individuals may have their own unique issues leading to low values of some nutrients (e.g. blood loss or poor absorption in the digestive tract leading to low iron levels).
The most common food supplement in the UK is the multivitamin and mineral . The manufacturer will determine how much of the different nutrient to add to the tablet, based upon their knowledge of the typical diet of their customers, their knowledge of current research about the right amount and any hazards of each nutrient and finally the selling price they wish to charge. This means that a trustworthy brand such as Solgar is essential to get a good multivitamin. We know of some manufacturers who ignore these basic principles. .
After the multivitamin people will often take either a formulation specific to their needs (e.g. bone health) or a specific nutrient they believe they are low in (e.g. Iron). They may also take a nutrient that is unlikely to be in high levels in a multivitamin (e.g. Vitamin C is often taken individually as well as the smaller amount in a multivitamin). In some cases a test may have revealed the need for the nutrient although sometimes the symptoms will be a good indication of what to try.
We do believe the traditional health store with an attached natural healthcare clinic with well trained staff is a good model for where to get advice. The store can refer to practitioners where needed and staff can help guide customers in their choice. In our Glasgow store we offer this service, however we can also help over the phone and our online store means people from throughout the UK can choose from our selection of vitamins and minerals. Buying from us means you are helping maintain a living resource where real clients and customers are helped has a thriving future. A future based on web only businesses will mean people's health and wellbeing will suffer./p>
We always recommend reading the label, however in general most supplements (except amino acids) are taken with food to help the absorption. Some nutrients may also be taken under the tongue (e.g. certain forms of Vitamin B12).