Veteran's Health Library Menu

Health Encyclopedia

Understanding Supplements

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements - VHL HealthSheet #84526_VA
We need vitamins to live. We also need certain minerals. Together, these substances, which are naturally found in food, help our bodies grow and function. At times, adding vitamins and minerals to your diet can give your body a boost. But supplements alone cannot provide all that you need to stay healthy.
Calcium Supplements - VHL HealthSheet #84528_VA
Calcium is a mineral that helps us make strong bones and teeth. Most of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones. We spend almost half of our lives (30 to 35 years) building to a peak bone mass. Taking in enough calcium helps younger people build strong bones. Maintaining a safe calcium level helps older people limit bone loss.
Vitamin C Supplements - VHL HealthSheet #84530_VA
Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid and ascorbate. This vitamin has many benefits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant. This means that it fights cell damage in the body. Damaged cells increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C may help you resist these diseases. But does it help cure the common cold? Probably not.
Folic Acid (Folate) Supplements - VHL HealthSheet #84532_VA
Recent studies have shown that folic acid can prevent certain birth defects. And it now seems that this vitamin may even reduce the risk of heart disease.
Iron Supplements - VHL HealthSheet #84534_VA
Iron helps the blood cells carry oxygen. When you don’t get enough iron, you may feel tired and lack energy. Anemia (“tired” blood) is a health problem that can occur when the body’s iron levels are very low. Our bodies don’t make iron, so we must get it from foods or supplements.
Vitamin E Supplements - VHL HealthSheet #84536_VA
Vitamin E has more than one form. The natural ones are found in fats and oils. Man-made versions also exist. The vitamin E compound that is most useful in the body is called alpha-tocopherol. This is also the most common form of vitamin E. It can occur naturally or be man-made. No matter which form of E you take in, this vitamin offers benefits.
Help improve the VHL. Share your opinions! Click here for brief survey

VHL Web Tour Video - Opens in a pop up window

Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
Disclaimer - Opens 'Disclaimer' in Dialog Window | Help | About Veterans Health Library