Prevention - Taking Vitamins and Minerals

Which vitamins and minerals do you take to stay healthy?

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Vitamins and minerals to maintain health

Vitamins and mineral supplements are important both in preventing deficiency states as well as in preventing diseases. Most diseases resulting from vitamin deficiencies such as scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), blindness (vitamin A deficiency), and beriberi (thiamine deficiency) occur mainly in third-world countries and are almost nonexistent in the United States. But certain special populations in the United States can develop vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and thus require dietary supplements. For example,

  • severely malnourished alcoholics can develop nerve damage from thiamine deficiency;
  •  individuals lacking sun exposure can develop bone disease from vitamin D deficiency;
  • pernicious anemia is a condition associated with nerve damage, which can result from vitamin B12 deficiency; and
  • people with celiac sprue can also develop vitamin deficiencies, as well as iron deficiency.

For these special populations, vitamin supplements are important to prevent these deficiencies.

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