Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Sarah -

Many pa­tients tell me they don’t have time for a healthy diet. But they’re happy to pop a vi­ta­min tablet – as if this can­cels out bad eat­ing. Sadly, it won’t and, on the whole, I’m not an ad­vo­cate of vi­ta­min sup­ple­ments. At worst, re­search has shown high-dose vi­ta­min sup­ple­ments might in­crease the risk of cancer. At best, you’ll pee out ex­cess lev­els of wa­ter-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins, mean­ing your wal­let is lighter and your urine very ex­pen­sive!

That said, I’ve long been an ad­vo­cate of vi­ta­min D – it’s the only vi­ta­min that’s vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to get enough of in your diet. In the UK, we now rec­om­mend a 10 mi­cro­gram daily win­ter sup­ple­ment for all – and un­der-5s, preg­nant women and over-65s should take it year-round.

A new study also sug­gests I might have to eat my words where folic acid is con­cerned. Rec­om­mended in early preg­nancy, a daily 800 mi­cro­gram dose may sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the risk of stroke in peo­ple with high blood pres­sure, too.

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