Health and Fitness

What’s better : Vitamins from food or supplements?

We all might be familiar with the quote “an apple a day keeps a doctor away”, The title quote teaches the big lesson of living a healthy life, so relying on this quote it could be said that we get healthier from fruits, vegetables, and foods that we consume.

We all have been taught in our schools about vitamins and their utility and how it plays a vital role in the overall growth of an individual. It is rightly said by roger Williams that “health requires healthy food” and healthy food cannot be substituted, the vitamins and nutrients that food provides cannot be gained through additions that are presently accessible in the market.

With the boost in technology and R&D, our scientists and doctors have achieved milestones in finding substitutes and solutions for Nutrients, vitamins in form of supplements such as pills, tablets, liquids, and powder that normally we used to gain through the intake of foods. But the question is do we need those supplements when we can get those vitamins in foods, why to spend on those costlier and bitter pills which not only kills but also increases your bills. Consuming healthy delivers significantly more advantages than supplementing and eating.

Types of vitamins and their Role in the body

Vitamins provide nutrients to the body which help in the development and growth of cells and help to work in a way it should. Every organism requires a different number of vitamins in the body and every vitamin plays a different role. Deficiency and excess of any vitamins can lead to various kinds of health issues. Some of the functions that vitamins perform and diseases that can be caused due to their deficiency are listed below:

VitaminsFunctionDeficiencyFood sources
Vitamin Ais necessary for good eye health.Loss of visionSweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, fortified cereals
Vitamin B1is necessary for heart function and healthy nerve cells, it aids the conversion of carbohydrates into energy.BeriberiWhole-grain, enriched, fortified products like bread and cereals
Vitamin B2is necessary for body growth and red blood cell formation.AriboflavinosisMilk, bread products, fortified cereals  
Vitamin B3This aids in the maintenance of healthy skin and nerves. In vaster quantities, it also has cholesterol-lowering properties.Pellagramilk, eggs, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, nuts and seeds, tofu, and lentils.
Vitamin B5This is necessary for food digestion.ParesthesiaChicken, beef, potatoes, oats, cereals, tomatoes
Vitamin B6Is important for the production of red blood cells.Anemiachickpeas, bananas, squash, and nuts
Vitamin B7Protein and glucose metabolism demand these molecules.Dermatitis, enteritisegg yolk, broccoli, spinach, and cheese
Vitamin B9It is known for the formation of DNA and RNA.This can impair the neurological system of the fetus during pregnancy.leafy vegetables, peas, some fortified grain products, and sunflower seeds
Vitamin B12is important for the neurological system to function properly.Megaloblastic anemiaFish, poultry, meat, dairy products
Vitamin CIt helps in the formation of collagen, wound healing, and bone growth. It also benefits as an antioxidant and intensifies blood vessels. It also boosts the immune system, facilitates iron absorption, and strengthens blood vessels.Scurvy, Swelling of GumsRed and green peppers, kiwis, oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes
Vitamin Dis vital for the mineralization of bone in a healthy manner.Rickets & Osteomalaciafatty fish, fortified milk products, mushrooms
Vitamin ETocopherol is a type of antioxidant. It assists in the formation of red blood cells and the utilization of vitamin K by the body.Fewer Fertilityalmonds, peanut butter, vegetable oils
Vitamin KIs essential for blood clotting.Non-Clotting of Blood.Green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts

Why we should take vitamins from food and not from supplements?

As we all know our digestive system and enzymes separate different nutrients for distinct uses when we eat food, then our body uses what it requires and wastes the rest. Vitamins and minerals collected from the diet are frequently more lenient to absorb than those achieved through supplements. This means that consuming more vitamins and minerals through supplements than needed will have no additional benefit because the body will eliminate the excess.

Since many excess vitamins and minerals are excreted by your body, some remain and cause harm. Sometimes supplements might be because of becoming ill if they interact with certain medications.

Just because a supplement is labeled “natural” doesn’t imply it’s risk-free. Comfrey and kava, for example, can cause substantial liver damage.

“Knowing the chemical makeup, how it’s manufactured, and how it acts in the body is critical—especially for herbs, but also for nutrients, “Ask your doctor whether you need a supplement in the first place, the dosage, and any potential interactions with any medications you’re taking.”

Check the percent Daily Value (DV) for each vitamin and mineral to make sure you’re not consuming too much. “It’s crucial to speculate about the DV and upper threshold. Certain supplements can be dangerous if consumed in excess.

Do you know, Vitamins from food can increase longevity?

In a statement, the main author Dr. Fang Zhang, an associate professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, said, “Our results support the hypothesis that… there are advantageous connections with nutrients from foods that aren’t found with supplements.” The researchers discovered that persons who obtain enough vitamin A, vitamin K, zinc, or copper have a decreased risk of dying from heart disease than those who don’t get sufficient of these nutrients.

However, when the researchers looked at the source of these nutrients only nutrients from food were linked to a lower risk of mortality from any cause or heart disease than nutrients from supplements.


It would be foolish to use an oxygen mask when you are surrounded by it likewise it would be foolish to take supplements for nutrients when you can get it in your food intake so, use a mask of supplement only when the level of vitamins decreases.

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