Yes, I know- vitamins aren't foods. You should strive to get your vitamins from the healthful foods you eat, but most people need supplementation regardless.
There is a specific vitamin that has been getting quite a bit of attention in the last few years: Vitamin D. Many people are deficient and don't even know it. Scan down a few paragraphs if you want to know why you should probably be supplementing.
In late 2006/early 2007, I was having a myriad of health issues that I won't elaborate on, for now. My doctor began running tests and sending blood off to labs, and making the same recommendations I had always been given from him. Lose weight, and here's a script. I was trying desperately to lose weight, as I had been, for the majority of my life.
Some of my blood work returned with results that were out of the normal range. I was vitamin D deficient, which coincidentally explained some of the symptoms I was having. I was put on a prescription for Vitamin D that I took once per week for a few months. Afterwards, as I read through the research, I realized I needed to actually be on a Vitamin D3 supplement (NOT Vitamin D2 white caplets- there is a difference.)
That year, I did manage to lose 65 pounds, but not from any plan my doctor of 10 years had given me. I do think having correct vitamin D levels, though, jumpstarted my weight loss efforts. Over the years, I stopped taking my D3 and many of the same problems I was having before returned.
At your next check-up, make sure to ask for a Vitamin D blood test. Or, go to the Vitamin D Council website and order the blood kit for yourself. Each person's level and the amount of supplementation will be different. Not everyone needs the same amount per day.
Why is Vitamin D important and why should you be looking into supplementing if you are low?
For starters, correct vitamin D levels have been linked to reduced tumor formation and assists in the reduction of symptoms associated with depression-related seasonal affective disorder. Here are some links for more research in other health and wellness areas.
Don't take my word for it, though. Please spend some time perusing the information that is out there concerning Vitamin D from trusted health and wellness websites.
Even people who believe they take in enough Vitamin D through dairy, fish and other vegetables are often deficient. Some of my good friends in sunny California supplement because they work indoors or are covered in sunscreen the majority of the time.
Vitamin D supplementation has improved my quality of life.