NewsAnchorMom.com reader Lisa asked:
"At what age, then, are vitamins recommended? Aren't we as adults supposed to be taking them... so when do doctors make the distinction that vitamins are important? I do give my kids a children's gummy vitamin each day. I don't think it's necessary, but I think it establishes good nutrition habits when it's made part of their daily routine."
Dr. Kelvin Wynn from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria responded:
"Vitamins are chemical compounds which are essential in small amounts for normal metabolism. The majority of vitamins are not made by our bodies so they need to be ingested in the diet to prevent certain disorders. It is important to distinguish vitamins from minerals (such as calcium and iron) which are also essential.
Therefore, if someone is not getting adequate nutrition then vitamin supplementation is necessary regardless if they are a child or adult. The best way to get the essential vitamins and minerals is with a balanced diet. A diet with five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day supplants supplemental multivitamin use in most people.
Individuals who have clinical reasons for vitamin deficiency, such as those who suffer from alcoholism, malabsorption, a history of gastric bypass surgery,or a history of metabolism disorders, should receive supplemental multivitamins. Physical signs and symptoms of vitamin deficiency depends upon the deficient vitamin. Remember, one can take too much of a particular vitamin which can produce signs and symptoms of toxicity."
I hope this helps! How many of you take vitamins as adults?