Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that are involved in a variety of biological processes that keep life going. While most people can obtain enough from their diet alone, some may require supplementation. They should, however, do so under the supervision of a doctor or certified nutritionist to guarantee their safety.
Getting adequate vitamins and minerals is an important element of eating a well-balanced diet.
Although a diversified diet often supplies all of the micronutrients a person requires, certain people with restricted diets, such as vegetarians, people with certain medical problems, and older folks, may require supplementation.
Read more to learn how much of each vitamin and mineral an individual should consume, which micronutrients are harmful when a person consumes them in excess, and what common deficiencies there are.
Daily consumption of vitamins and minerals
Although each person’s dietary needs will differ somewhat, having benchmark values for vitamin and mineral intake as a point of reference might be helpful.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes standards for the quantity of vitamins and minerals that a person should ingest each day. It is based on the suggested Daily Value (DV), which is appropriate for the majority of healthy people.
Individual nutritional requirements, on the other hand, will vary based on a variety of circumstances. Age, weight, overall health, and whether or not a person is pregnant or nursing are all factors to consider.
Vitamin DV chart
Most healthy people should eat the following quantities of vitamins, according to the FDA:
|biotin||30 micrograms (mcg)|
|folate, or folic acid||400 mcg of dietary folate equivalents|
|niacin||16 milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalents|
|pantothenic acid||5 mg|
|vitamin A||900 mcg of retinol activity equivalents|
|vitamin B6||1.7 mg|
|vitamin B12||2.4 mcg|
|vitamin C||90 mg|
|vitamin D||20 mcg|
|vitamin E||15 mg of alpha-tocopherol|
|vitamin K||120 mcg|
Mineral DV chart
The FDA recommends that most healthy people consume the following amounts of minerals:
Definitions of terms
While DV is a good place to start, it isn’t the only phrase experts use to explain how much of anything a person should consume.
Different acronyms are used by researchers, dietitians, manufacturers, and government agencies. This can make it difficult to understand nutritional labels.
When reading food or supplement labels, you may come across the following terms:
- DV: This abbreviation is often present on food packaging. It indicates the recommended amount of a certain nutrient to consume each day.
- Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): This is the recommended intake of nutrients that meets the nutritional requirements of most healthy people. RDA is usually the same as the DV.
- Adequate Intake (AI): When researchers do not have enough evidence to calculate an RDA of a specific nutrient, they will make an estimation reflecting most recent research.
- Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): This indicates the maximum amount a person can consume without experiencing adverse effects.
- Dietary Reference Intake (DRI): This is a general term that includes RDA, AI, and UL.
Can a person consume too much of vitamins and minerals?
People, in most cases, will not eat too much of a vitamin or mineral, especially if it is obtained from food.
When a person takes a nutritional supplement, he or she is more likely to overindulge. Toxicity from vitamins and minerals is uncommon, and it only happens when a person takes a considerable quantity of a particular nutrient.
It’s important to remember that not all vitamins and minerals are dangerous when consumed in large amounts.
Because water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water, when a person takes too many of them, the excess is frequently excreted in the urine. All of the B vitamins including vitamin C are water soluble.
Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, dissolve in fats and oils. This implies that they are stored in fatty tissues like the liver, and they can accumulate over time. They may reach hazardous levels in rare cases. People who ingest too many fat-soluble vitamins are especially prone to this.
Fat-soluble vitamins include:
- vitamin A
- vitamin D
- vitamin E
- vitamin K
When a person takes significant levels of fat-soluble vitamins, not all of them are dangerous. It is normally safe to ingest excessive people of vitamin D, yet megadoses of this vitamin over lengthy periods of time should be avoided.
Excessive intake of minerals including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium might have negative consequences.
Excessive consumption has negative consequences
Mineral or vitamin overconsumption is usually caused by consuming too much of a certain micronutrient through multivitamins or supplements.
When someone consumes more than the DV of certain vitamins and minerals on a regular basis, they may develop negative effects. Each micronutrient is used differently by the body, and as a result, each might induce various symptoms.
Potential symptoms of acute or chronic toxicity owing to excessive ingestion of particular vitamins and minerals are included in the table below:
|Vitamin or mineral||Side effects|
|vitamin A||peeling skin|
|niacin||burning, itching sensation|
low blood pressure
a buildup of fluid behind the eye
reduction in the absorption of iron, zinc, and magnesium
hair and nail brittleness
skin rashes and sores
Some vitamin and mineral deficiencies are particularly common. Some of these include:
- vitamin A
- vitamin B6
- vitamin B12
- vitamin D
- vitamin E
- vitamin C
However, there are a variety of reasons why a person may be unable to obtain the nutrients they require only via food.
Inadequate nutrient intake or absorption might be caused by the following factors:
- certain medications
- some medical conditions
People may need to take a supplement to reach the DV of specific nutrients in certain cases.
What are the potential side effects of taking a multivitamin?
Multivitamins are dietary supplements that include a variety of vitamins and minerals.
To “cover their bases,” people frequently take multivitamins. Many multivitamins, on the other hand, include high doses of nutrients that a person may already be getting plenty of through their diet.
Certain nutrients may be deficient in some diets, such as vegetarian or vegan diets, or diets of people with allergies or dietary intolerances. As a result, a person’s diet may require the addition of certain vitamins, minerals, or both.
People who eat a vegan diet, for example, are at danger of having vitamin B12, iodine, zinc, and iron deficiencies. To satisfy their needs, they may need to take a supplement or multivitamin.
If you’re thinking about taking a vitamin or mineral supplement, talk to your doctor first. A simple blood test can be ordered by the doctor to check for any inadequacies.
Taking too many dietary supplements or ingesting too much of a certain vitamin or mineral might cause serious negative effects.
If a person is concerned about taking too many vitamins, they should get advice from a physician.
When to contact a doctor
A doctor should be consulted if someone believes their intake of particular vitamins or minerals is either too high or too low.
A simple blood or urine test for vitamins and nutrition can assist establish which micronutrients a person is deficient in. A doctor can then advise on which supplements are appropriate for the patient to use. For dietary advice, the doctor may send patients to a nutritionist.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes standards for how much of each vitamin and mineral a person should eat each day. This is referred to as DV by health specialists.
While most people can get these nutrients from food alone, those on restrictive diets or who have specific medical problems may need to take dietary supplements.
Before starting any new supplements or multivitamins, people should always see their doctor, since ingesting too much of certain nutrients might have negative consequences.