According to the United States Department of Agriculture, about half of the people in the United States take nutrition supplements. Though nutritionists believe that the best place to obtain nutrients like vitamins and minerals is from food, they agree that many people don’t get enough nutrients from their food. It’s possible that they don’t eat the foods they should eat or they are under stressors like illness or pregnancy and need supplementation. It’s well known that older people simply don’t absorb certain vitamins and minerals the way they used to, simply due to age. Some people simply have no idea whether they’re getting the right amount of nutrients that they need and take supplements to make sure. They also take dietary supplements to ward off colds and other illnesses.

Most people who take vitamin supplements take a multivitamin that also contains necessary minerals like copper, zinc and magnesium. After a multivitamin, people take Vitamin C, the B-complex Vitamins and Vitamin E, which is known as an antioxidant.

Vitamin supplements can be natural or synthetic and nutritionist find almost no difference between them. Most minerals, like calcium, are made from natural sources, but vitamins tend to be synthetic. This is because the amounts of vitamins found naturally in the foods people eat are so small that to extract them from the foods is much too costly.

People who take dietary supplements need to make sure that the vitamin or mineral supplements are up to standards. They should read the label to make sure that it contains 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance for most of the vitamins and minerals a capsule contains. In most Americans, a deficiency of a nutrient like iodine or Vitamin K is rare, so these don’t need to be represented at such high levels. A multivitamin should also have minerals, including trace minerals like selenium. Some vitamins don’t work as well as they should without the addition of certain minerals. The potential buyer should also look for the expiration date on the bottle as well as the daily recommended dosage. The label should also have the USP mark on it. This means that standards of purity laid down by the U.S. Pharmacopeia have been met.