There are various different supplements on the market which claim to have many health benefits.
The trend to take supplements is becoming more and more popular, especially for people looking to get more vitamins or lose weight.
Health experts advise, however, not to take supplements for the sake of it, but only if you really need to.
According to the NHS, most people don’t need to take vitamin supplements, as they should be able to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals through a healthy, balanced diet.
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients, such as iron, calcium and vitamin C, that the body needs to work properly.
However, the body only needs small amounts of these, so taking supplements if you already have enough vitamins is not only a waste of money but could also be harmful.
“Many people choose to take supplements, but taking too much or taking them for too long could be harmful,” said the NHS.
People who have certain deficiencies, however, or those at risk of deficiency, should take supplements.
In line with this, there are some vitamin supplements which are recommended for everyone, such as vitamins which are mostly derived from things other than food.
For example, the UK Department of Health recommends taking vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
From around late March to the end of September, most people should be able to get enough vitamin D from the sun outdoors.
But between October and early March, we don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Vitamin D is found in a small number of foods, including oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks and fortified foods.
However, it is difficult to get enough of the vitamin from food alone, so during the autumn and winter months it is advised to take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
Some people will need to take vitamin D supplements all year round, if they don’t get enough sun exposure.
This includes people who don’t go outdoors often, for example people who are frail, housebound or in a care home.
In addition, people who usually wear clothes covering most of the skin when outdoors are also at risk of not getting enough vitamin D.
The NHS warns not to take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D per day, as this can be harmful.
Taking too much vitamin D over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body, which can weaken bones and damage the kidneys and heart.