Chatelaine vitamin centre

Your source for vitamin and supplement information

by 0
We all know vitamins are good for us. Taking the right ones – the right way – can bolster your immune system and heart health while helping to banish a host of diseases. But when you’re stuck in the drug store, faced with a sea of supplements, deciding which ones to buy can be daunting. Well, fret no more: our vitamin centre is here to help. From A to zinc, you’ll find out what supplements can do for your health, how much you need and where to get the nutrients you require in our vitamin chart. Or, if you have a specific health concern, such as cardiovascular health, low energy levels, or you’re trying to conceive, use our handy drop-down menu to determine what supplements will help boost your health.

Once you know which vitamins are right for you, here’s how to decode dosage information: ‘What you need’ is based on dietary reference intakes (DRIs), determined by the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board in partnership with Health Canada. ‘Upper limit’ (UL) is the maximum dosage health experts agree is safe to take. If there is no UL listed, that means there are no reported side effects linked to excess dosage. This guide lists essential vitamins and minerals for women aged 19 to 50. Be sure to read Supplement safety before you head out to the drugstore – and always confirm your needs with your doctor, especially if you’re stressed, pregnant or 50+.

var nameArr = new Array(“Vitamin A”,”Thiamine B1

(Vitamin B1)

“,”Niacin B3

(vitamin B3)

“,”Vitamin B6″,”Vitamin B12″,”Beta carotene”,”Vitamin C”,”Calcium”,”Vitamin D”,”Vitamin E”,”Folate

(also known as folic acid when in synthetic form)

“,”Iron”,”Vitamin K”,”Magnesium”,”Omega-3 fatty acids”,”Potassium”,”Selenium”,”Zinc”); var nameSimpArr = new Array(“Vitamin A”,”Thiamine B1″,”Niacin B3″,”Vitamin B6″,”Vitamin B12″,”Beta carotene”,”Vitamin C”,”Calcium”,”Vitamin D”,”Vitamin E”,”Folate”,”Iron”,”Vitamin K”,”Magnesium”,”Omega-3 fatty acids”,”Potassium”,”Selenium”,”Zinc”); var doseArr = new Array(“700 mcg (2,330 IU)”,”1.1 mg”,”14 mg”,”1.3 mg “,”2.4 mcg “,”There is no DRI for beta carotene”,”75 mg”,”1,000 mg”,”There is no DRI for vitamin D, 5 mcg (200 IU) is considered an adequate daily intake”,”15 mg (22.5 IU)”,”400 mcg”,”18 mg”,”There is no DRI for vitamin K, 90 mcg is considered an adequate daily intake”,”320 mg”,”There is no DRI for omega-3 fatty acids, 1.1 grams is considered an adequate daily intake “,”There is no DRI for potassium, 4,700 mg is considered an adequate daily intake”,”55 mcg”,”8 mg”); var upperArr = new Array(“3,000 mcg (10,000 IU)”,”No reported side effects linked to excess dosage”,”35 mg”,”100 mg “,”No reported side effects linked to excess dosage”,”No reported side effects linked to excess beta carotene consumption from food”,”2,000 mg”,”2,500 mg”,”50 mcg (2,000 IU)”,”1,000 mg (1500 IU)”,”1,000 mcg”,”45 mg”,”There is no UL for vitamin K and it has not been associated with specific adverse health effects “,”350 mg (For supplemental magnesium. There is no UL for dietary intake of magnesium)”,”No reported side effects linked to excess dosage”,”No reported side effects linked to excess dosage”,”400 mcg”,”40 mg”); var doesArr = new Array(‘

· Maintains good vision and a strong immune system

n

· Essential for healthy eyes and skin

‘, ‘

· Helps body turn carbohydrates into energy

n

· Helps maintain a healthy nervous system

‘, ‘

· Aids digestion, nerves and skin

n

· Essential for carbohydrate and fat metabolism

‘, ‘

· Maintains healthy immune and nervous systems

n

· Helps turn protein into energy

n

· May be important to heart health by helping to regulate homocysteine levels in the blood

‘, ‘

· Helps maintain nerve and red blood cells

n

· May be important to heart health by helping to regulate homocysteine levels in the blood

‘, ‘

· Works as an antioxidant to combat free radicals. May help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer

‘, ‘

· Improves iron absorption

n

· Important for wound healing, tissue growth and repair, and healthy teeth and gums

n

· Vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies may protect against heart disease

‘, ‘

· Essential for strong bones and teeth

n

· 1,000 mg daily from low-fat dairy products may foster weight loss

n

· Some studies have found that calcium may reduce the risk of colon cancer

n

· Taking 1,200 mg of supplemental calcium may decrease PMS symptoms

‘, ‘

· Helps absorb calcium for healthy bones and teeth

n

· Helps reduce risk of osteoporosis

‘, ‘

· May protect against cell damage and disease

n

· Helps maintain a healthy immune system

n

· Works in conjunction with other antioxidants to reduce wrinkle formation, protect skin cells and prevent UV-light damage

‘, ‘

· Prevents fetal neural tube defects and anemia

n

· Helps produce and maintain new cells

n

· May be important to heart health by helping to regulate homocysteine levels in the blood

n

· Some studies link folic acid to a reduced risk of colon and cervical cancers and stroke

‘, ‘

· Prevents iron deficiency anemia, a common condition in women

n

· Essential for oxygen transportation and cell growth regulation

‘, ‘

· Maintains normal blood clotting

n

· Important for bone health’, ‘

· Supports a healthy immune system

n

· Keeps bones strong and heart rhythm steady

n

· Maintains normal muscle and nerve function

n

· May help regulate blood pressure

‘, ‘

· Lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease

n

· May also reduce pain associated with endometriosis and rheumatoid arthritis, control manic depression and reduce the chance of developing breast cancer

‘, ‘

· Helps maintain healthy blood pressure

‘, ‘

· An antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage from free radicals

n

· May stimulate antibody formation after vaccinations

‘, ‘

· May boost immune system and carbohydrate metabolism

n

· Helps maintain your sense of taste and smell

‘); var getFromArr = new Array(‘

· Four carrot sticks

n

· 1 tbsp (15 mL) baked sweet potato

n

· Other sources include liver, eggs, milk, cheese, salmon, butter and margarine.

‘, ‘

· 3/4 cup (175 mL) bran cereal provides 0.74 mg thiamine

n

· 1 cup (250 mL) boiled lentils provides 0.35 mg thiamine

n

· Other sources include whole grains, hazelnuts, pecans and lean meats

‘, ‘

· 3 oz (85 g) canned light tuna provides 12 mg niacin

n

· 1/2 cup (125 mL) peanuts provides 10.5 mg niacin

n

· Other sources include meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese and whole grain products

‘, ‘

· 2 medium bananas

n

· 1 cup (250 mL) canned chickpeas

n

· Other sources include meat, poultry, fish, beans and some fruits and vegetables

‘, ‘

· 2 cups (500 mL) fortified soy beverage

n

· 3 oz (85 g) beef liver

n

· Other sources include milk, fish, beef and clams

‘, ‘

· 1 large carrot provides 10,000 IU of beta carotene

n

· 3/4 cup (175 mL) boiled spinach provides 10,000 IU of beta carotene

n

· Other sources include sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and mango

‘, ‘

· Three spears of cooked broccoli

n

· 3/4 cup (175 mL) orange juice made from frozen concentrate

n

· Other sources include vegetables and fruits such as red and green peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits, kiwi and strawberries

‘, ‘

· 3 cups (750 mL) milk

n

· 1/2 cup (125 mL) almonds provides 183 mg calcium

n

· Other sources include dairy products, fortified soy beverages, canned salmon with bones, broccoli

‘, ‘

· 2 cups (500 mL) milk

n

· 1 oz (28 g) canned salmon with bones

n

· Other sources include liver, fortified soy beverages, fatty fish and margarine

‘, ‘

· 1 oz (28 g) almonds provides 7.4 mg of vitamin E

n

· 2 tbsp (15 mL) peanut butter provides 4.2 mg of vitamin E

n

· Other sources include vegetable oil, wheat germ, seeds and other nuts

‘, ‘

· 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) cooked lentils

n

· 1 cup (250 mL) orange juice made from frozen concentrate provides 115 mcg folate

n

· Other sources include liver, beans, asparagus, broccoli, bananas and cantaloupe

‘, ‘

· 1 cup (250 mL) cooked spinach provides 6 mg iron

n

· 3 oz (85 g) beef liver provides 5 mg iron

n

· Other sources include fish, meat, poultry, clams and oysters

n

· Absorption improves when taken with an acidic food or drink such as strawberries or orange juice

‘, ‘

· 1 cup (250 mL) raw spinach or shredded lettuce

n

· 1 tbsp (15 mL) soybean oil provides 26.1 mcg of vitamin K

n

· Other sources include other green leafy vegetables and olive and canola oils

‘, ‘

· 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen spinach, cooked provides 75 mg magnesium

n

· 3 oz (85 g) cooked halibut provides 90 mg magnesium

n

· Other sources include nuts, beans, bananas and avocados

‘, ‘

· Most dietitians recommend two 85-gram servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, tuna and trout, per week

n

· Other sources include flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts and omega-3 enriched eggs

‘, ‘

· 1 baked potato with skin provides 844 mg potassium

n

· 1 banana provides 454 mg potassium

n

· Other sources include citrus fruits, apples, tomatoes and apricots

‘, ‘

· 1 oz (30 g) Brazil nuts can contain up to 544 mcg of selenium

n

· 3 oz (85 g) tuna contains 63 mcg of selenium

n

· Other sources include shellfish, poultry and eggs

‘, ‘

· 1 steamed or broiled oyster

n

· 3 slices (132 g) lean sirloin

n

· Other sources include meat, poultry, seafood, beans and nuts

‘); var keepMindArr = new Array(‘

· Pregnant? You’ll need 770 mcg daily

n

· Don’t exceed the UL – too much vitamin A from a supplement can increase the chances of hip fractures, liver abnormalities and having a baby with birth defects.

‘, ‘

· High levels of the B vitamins are sometimes sold as “stress” formulas. There’s no good evidence that additional nutrients are required to handle stress or that specific nutrients actually reduce stress.

‘, ‘

· Niacin deficiency can cause fatigue, irritability and possible memory loss

n

· Don’t exceed the UL – too much niacin can cause skin flushing, liver damage and stomach ulcers.

‘, ‘

· Both the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy can deplete vitamin B6

n

· Some studies have found that vitamin B6 reduces PMS symptoms, but research is inconclusive

n

· Don’t exceed the UL – high doses of vitamin B6, usually from supplements, can cause nerve damage.

‘, ‘

· Over 50? Get your B12 from a supplement. As we age, we tend to become less efficient at absorbing B12 from foods

n

· Vegan? B12 is found mostly in animal products. Make fortified soy beverages a mainstay in your diet, or consider a B12 supplement.

‘, ‘

· The body converts beta carotene into vitamin A

n

· It’s safest to get beta carotene from food. Maximize intake by eating five to 10 servings of fruit and veggies a day

n

· If you’re a smoker or have gastrointestinal cancer, avoid high potency beta-carotene supplements as they can be harmful.

‘, ‘

· You may need 100 mg or more of vitamin C daily to optimize its antioxidant benefits. Achieve this by eating five to 10 servings of fruit and veggies a day

n

· Do you smoke? Cigarette smoke depletes vitamin C. In general, smokers need an additional 35 mg of vitamin C daily

n

· Don’t exceed the UL – more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily may cause diarrhea.

‘, ‘

· Over 50? Up your daily dose to 1,200 mg

n

· To maximize absorption, take supplements in two separate, 500 mg doses

n

· Don’t exceed the UL – too much calcium can impair the absorption of iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.

‘, ‘

· Sunscreen is a skin-saving must, but the body only produces vitamin D when you are not wearing it. Two 15-minute breaks a week are about all you need.

n

· Over 50? Aim for 10 mcg of vitamin D daily. The body’s ability to produce vitamin D seems to decrease with age

n

· Don’t exceed the UL – taking supplements containing more than 50 mcg (2,000 IU) can be toxic.

‘, ‘

· Look for natural source vitamin E, which is more easily absorbed by the body

n

· A recent study found that taking 400 IU or more of vitamin E daily can increase mortality. Most dietitians recommend a daily dose of 200 IU.

‘, ‘

· Synthetic folate in a multivitamin absorbs best

n

· Pregnant? Get 600 mcg of folate daily. A recent review of studies found that up to 70 per cent of neural tube defects can be prevented by folic acid supplementation prior to and during early pregnancy.

‘, ‘

· Pregnant? Up your daily dose to 27 mg daily

n

· Over 50? Reduce your daily intake to 8 mg. Post-menopausal women don’t need iron supplements unless doctor-recommended

n

· Low levels of iron can cause fatigue

n

· Iron supplements can cause constipation

n

· Don’t exceed the UL – some studies link high iron stores in the body with an increased risk of heart attack.

‘, ‘

· At risk for osteoporosis? According to a U.S. study, women who consume about 250 mcg of daily vitamin K are far less likely to suffer a hip fracture than those who consume only about 50 mcg daily

n

· Bacteria in the intestine helps produce some of the body’s required amount of vitamin K.

‘, ‘

· It’s often best to get magnesium through diet. Magnesium supplements can cause diarrhea and abdominal cramping

n

· Many antacids and laxatives contain magnesium, large doses of either can be toxic.

‘, ‘

· A U.S. study found that people who eat five or more servings of omega-3 rich fish per week have about a 34 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease

n

· Fatty fish contain the most potent omega-3 fatty acids

n

· Although farmed salmon has been linked with high PCB levels, Health Canada says that it does not pose a health risk

n

· While omega-3 is a heart-healthy fat, it’s still important to monitor your daily fat intake

n

· Not a fish-eater? Experts recommend 650 mg of omega-3 daily from a fish-oil supplement; 900 mg if you have heart disease.

‘, ‘

· If you’re eating five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day, you’re getting enough potassium.

‘, ‘

· Pregnant? Aim for 60 mcg of selenium daily

n

· Lactating? Aim for 70 mcg of selenium daily

n

· Selenium content of food can vary depending on the selenium content of the soil that plants are grown in or animals are raised on

n

· Selenium supplementation has been associated with reduced instances of prostate, colon and lung cancers, but more research is needed to explore this relationship.

‘, ‘

· Vegetarian? You may need a zinc supplement

n

· Pregnant? Get 11 mg daily – maternal zinc deficiency can slow fetal growth

n

· Zinc helps fight the immune-suppressing effects of stress

n

· Research suggesting that zinc supplements can fight the common cold are inconsistent

n

· Don’t exceed the UL – more than 150 mg can be toxic and harm, not help, immune function.

‘); function vitaminInfo(dir){ cv=document.vitaminForm.currvit.value; if(dir==-1) cv–; else cv++; if(cv(nameArr.length-1)) cv=0; document.all[‘vitaminName’].innerHTML=nameArr[cv]; document.all[‘recommendation’].innerHTML=doseArr[cv]; document.all[‘upperlimit’].innerHTML=upperArr[cv]; document.all[‘whatitdoes’].innerHTML=doesArr[cv]; document.all[‘getitfrom’].innerHTML=getFromArr[cv]; document.all[‘keepinmind’].innerHTML=keepMindArr[cv]; document.vitaminForm.currvit.value=cv; drawLines(); } function vitaminInfoNew(vit){ cv=vit; document.all[‘vitaminName’].innerHTML=nameArr[cv]; document.all[‘recommendation’].innerHTML=doseArr[cv]; document.all[‘upperlimit’].innerHTML=upperArr[cv]; document.all[‘whatitdoes’].innerHTML=doesArr[cv]; document.all[‘getitfrom’].innerHTML=getFromArr[cv]; document.all[‘keepinmind’].innerHTML=keepMindArr[cv]; document.vitaminForm.currvit.value=cv; drawLines(); } function drawLines(){ col=””; anc=””; z=” | “; for(x=0;x<nameArr.length;x++){ if(document.vitaminForm.currvit.value == x) { col="black"; anc=""; } else { col="#FF6600"; anc="“; } z+=anc+nameSimpArr[x]+” | “; if(x==3 || x==7 || x==12 || x==15) z+=”
n| “; } document.all(“drawLines”).innerHTML = z; }

Chatelaine vitamin chart

Scroll left or right (below) or click on one of the following links to view information on the vitamin.


3
 
4
Daily recommendation
 
Upper limit
 
What it does
 
Get it from
 
Keep in mind
 

Download and print the whole chart. (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

For a larger print version, click here.

Boost your reproductive health

Adjust your diet to ensure you’re getting adequate iron for energy and folic acid to prevent neural tube defects, says Dr. Shirley Epstein, a family physician at Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. A recent review of studies found that up to 70 per cent of neural tube defects can be prevented by folic acid supplementation prior to and during early pregnancy.

Boost your health during pregnancy

To meet the needs of your developing fetus during pregnancy, “folic acid, iron and calcium are particularly important,” says Dr. Epstein, a family physician at Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. Taking extra calcium during pregnancy will help your child build healthy bones, while ensuring you’re getting the calcium your body needs. Also make sure you’re getting 11 mg of daily zinc – maternal zinc deficiency can slow fetal growth. The good news? A British review of studies indicates that vitamin B6 reduces nausea during early pregnancy.

Boost your cardiovascular health

To keep your ticker in tip-top shape, eat lots of vitamin C-rich fruit and vegetables. A Harvard University study found that even one extra serving a day can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by six per cent. And don’t forget about fish – a U.S. study found that people who eat five or more servings of omega-3 rich fish per week have about a 34 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease. Finally, folate and vitamins B6 and B12 may also boost heart health by helping to regulate homocysteine levels in the blood – too much of this amino acid could up your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Boost your energy levels

Eat iron-rich foods to keep your energy levels from flagging – iron deficiency can result in fatigue, poor work performance and a weaker immune system. Women are especially at risk.

Boost your ability to fight disease

Vitamin A, vitamin B6 and magnesium help boost immunity in the body, while selenium may stimulate antibody formation after a vaccination. For a full list of the disease-fighting super powers of vitamins and minerals, see our Vitamin chart.

Boost your stress defence

You may need more vitamin A, vitamin E and magnesium to offset the draining effects of stress. All boost stress-depressed immune function.