By Alan H.; Buff, Sheila Pressman
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You need to understand what minerals do for you—and why you need them all. You need to understand how the vitamins and minerals in your food affect you—and how everything else in your food affects you as well. You need to understand which of those other supplements are valuable to your health—and which aren't. Although all those bottles on the shelves may seem confusing and a little scary, they're really not. Once you understand the easy basics of vitamins and minerals, you'll be able to pick the supplements that will help your health.
Generally there's no real reason to do them, unless you have a medical problem that affects your ability to absorb nutrients. Today many nutritionally oriented health practitioners think that your blood antioxidant level is a better test of your vitamin and mineral levels and overall health. That's because you need vitamins and minerals to make antioxidant enzymes. If you're low on the enzymes, you're also low on their building blocks. If you're interested in antioxidant testing, discuss it with your doctor or nutritionist.
Vitamins A, E, D and K are fat-soluble—that is, they dissolve in fat but not water. Because you can store these vitamins, you don't have to get a supply of them every day. On the other hand, getting too much of these vitamins means they could build up in your body and cause problems. Water-Soluble Vitamins Water-soluble vitamins can't really be stored in your body for very long. That's because these vitamins dissolve in water, so any extra is carried out of your body. Vitamin C and all the B vitamins are water-soluble.