- Vitamins are essential for a healthy diet, so many take vitamin supplements.
- The Food Standards Agency (FSA) reported £220 million was spent on vitamin and mineral supplements in 2006; the most popular were cod-liver oil capsules and multi-vitamins.
- FSA also found the highest amount of usage was among the age group of 50-65 year olds.
The Dangers of vitamin overdose
- too much vitamin A can cause liver damage.
- too much vitamin C can cause diarrhoea - people take too much in the hopes that it stops the common cold or just prevents it.
Groups that may need vitamin supplements
- most people dont need vitamin supplements as we get enough in out diets.
Women who are planning to get pregnant
- need folic acid supplements, and should carry on for the first 12 weeks - believed to prevent of spina bifida.
People with limited exposure to sunlight
- mostly asian women who get no sunlight, can take vitamin D to replace it.
- may need to take vitamin B12 to reduce the risk of pernicious anaemia
People who are malnourished due to illness
- may have trouble eating/swallowing and may need to take supplements to maintain a balanced diet.
- supplements only needed if have trouble swallowing or eating, or loss of appetite.
Athletes in training
- should only take supplements when vital, but vitamins in food are a lot better for you.
Healthy start scheme
- government funded scheme founded in 2006
- low income families are issued with vouchers every week which can be exchanged for : milk, fresh fruit, fresh veg, and instant formula.
- free vitamin supplements also available, mostly for children.