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Test Your Supplement Savvy

Test Your Supplement Savvy

True or false?

  1. B vitamins give you energy.

  2. You'll see the difference in your health within days of starting a supplement.

  3. Purchase supplements within 6 months of their expiration dates.

  4. Nursing mothers who consume fewer than 2,500 calories a day probably aren't getting enough iron and should make sure that their supplement contains at least 15 mg.

  5. Unless you consume 2 or more servings of fresh, dark-green leafy vegetables and orange juice each day, you might not be getting enough folic acid, a B vitamin that helps prevent neural-tube defects in unborn babies, and possibly cervical cancer in adult women.


    Multiple choice:

  6. Although this vitamin might cause birth defects at doses as low as 10,000 IU, its building block (beta carotene) is safe at these doses:

    • a. Vitamin D
    • b. Vitamin A
    • c. Vitamin E
    • d. Vitamin B6
    • e. All of the above


  7. If 1) your skin isn't regularly exposed to sunshine, 2) you don't consume at least 3 glasses of fortified milk each day, and 3) you're pregnant or nursing, you might need a supplement that contains 5 mg of this nutrient:

    • a. Vitamin C
    • b. Calcium
    • c. Vitamin A
    • d. Vitamin D
    • e. All of the above


  8. If you're nursing and follow a strict vegetarian diet (i.e., you avoid all meats and dairy products), your intake could be low in which of the following?

    • a. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
    • b. Zinc
    • c. Vitamin B12
    • d. Iron
    • e. All of the above


Answers:

1. False. The B vitamins help unleash energy from carbohydrates, protein, and fat, but they don't supply energy themselves.

2. False. Supplements provide the best protection against disease when they're taken for years, not when they're taken on and off.

3. False. For the best guarantee of freshness and potency, purchase supplements nine months to one year before their expiration dates.

4. True.

5. True.

6. b.

7. d.

8. e.

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About The Author

Topeka, Kansas native Jill Tomlin writes about health issues for Your Baby Today. Her work appears in national publications.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.


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