Should we take vitamin or mineral supplements to be sure we get all the nutrients necessary? Yes, if someone is not eating well or not eating a broad spectrum of foods. Many are not able to get enough milk,fruit,vegetables,or fiber. What is enough fiber? Americans eat about one-third of the fiber they need and average about 10 grams of fiber a day,despite all the vegetables and fruit the eat. Fiber may prevent diverticulosis,constipation,and,if it is water-soluble fiber,lower your cholesterol. It will not prevent colon cancer. Thirty-two percent of Americans have diverticulosis (out-pouches on the colon) because they don't get enough fiber.I recommend adding at least a cup per day of All Bran Bran Buds cereal. This would give you 26 grams of fiber per day. Start slowly as you may initially get some gas because your bowel is not used to the extra fiber. Fiber prevents hemorrhoids also. Fiber decreases "all-cause" mortality. In other words, Fiber helps you live longer. As for multivitamins, take only the ones with the minimum daily requirements. Multivitamins have never been shown to prolong lifepans in people who eat well. They contain both the D- and L-isomers of each vitamin. In other words each vitamin,except for B12 which is naturally produced, contains the natural vitamin and it's unnatural mirror image. This may be why vitamins often cause hunger, headaches,stomach upset,and sinus problems. Why not get your vitamins from vegetables and fruits which contain not only plenty of the vitamins and minerals you need,but also hundreds of other chemicals that enhance the immune system,prevent cancer,and contribute to extraordinary repair of disease and age-related damage in the body. Eat a broad spectrum of yellow, green,and white vegetables. Note that Vitamin B1,B2,B6,Iron and Manganese should not be taken by Parkinson's disease patients. No one, except pregnant women, should take vitamins containing Iodide as,according to Wayne State University. We are getting 5 times as much Iodide in our diet as we need. Most salt now is iodized and salt is pervasive in our diets. Also all men and menopausal women should avoid vitamins with iron,as their requirement for iron is minimal. Too much iron can build up in the liver,pancreas,heart and predispose to colon cancer. Pregnant women should take at least 1000 micrograms of folic acid per day and should have started this at least 4 months before the pregnancy. The methylated folic acid Metafolin is necessry if you have a homozygous MTHFR gene abnormality.  Folic acid does not cause cancer as previously thought. According to the Neurology Journal of October 2003, higher Manganese intake may predispose to Parkinson's Disease. A more recent article by them associated Copper with Alzheimer's Disease. If you are a premenopausal female and not eating animal protein, I recommend an iron supplement that would give you about 18 milligrams of iron a day
There is quite a lot of controversy now about antioxidants. Vitamin E recently was shown to increase the incidence of heart failure and increase small-dense LDL (the worst kind of the "bad" cholesterol fraction) I believe one should get a minimum requirement of Vitamin E. Take the D-alpha tocopherol, not the (little d, little l)  dl- alpha tocopherol. Taking over 600 units a day of Vitamin E can lower thyroid function. Take B12 5000 units a day (especially if you take folic acid).  B12 with folic acid and 50 mg a day of P5P will help peripheral neuropathy
As for other antioxidants: Don't take over 500 milligrams of Vitamin C as the British have shown that somewhere between 500 and 750 milligrams, it becomes an oxidant instead of an antioxidant. Vitamin C also helps Fatty Liver. Vitamin C and Green Tea may interact with Chemotherapy for cancer. Bioflavinoids can be healthy and may be the reason the French wines seem to fight heart disease. . Blueberries and oregano are a good source of antioxidants. Eat one to one and one-half cups of blueberries a day. They have no fructose. Coenzyme Q-10 200mg a day may be helpful to prevent migraine. Alpha-lipoic acid and Coenzyme Q-10 antioxidants may help ward off Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin K2 may prevent calcium deposition in our arteries and keep Calcium in our bones.

It is extremely important to get enough Calcium, Vitamin D,and exercise. Women lose about 45 percent of their bone density by the time they are in their late 70's and men lose 35 percent. Women may lose an inch in height every 5 years after menopause to a total of about 2 inches. Your parathyroid hormone, which regulates Vitamin D, does not work as well after age 50 and bone loss occurs mainly for this reason and the fact we don't get enough Calcium and often too much protein. You do not need the sun if you get Vitamin D3.   Also, if you have kidney disease, a special type of Vitamin D should be taken. It may be best for all of us, as we get older, to take 2000 units of Vitamin D3 a day. Take an extra 2000 units a day in addition to the Vitamin D in your diet and enough dairy. Vitamin D may help prevent breast, ovary, colon, prostate, and pancreas cancer. A new study showed 72 percent less colon cancer when taking Vitamin D. Vitamin D may also help prevent coronary heart disease, strokes, asthma, and eczema. Also, both men and women under 30 and women over 45 should get at least 1000 mg of elemental calcium a day. Do not take over 1400 mg of Calcium a day.  A glass of milk has about 300 mg of calcium. Recent data in postmenopausal women and men show a higher chance of heart disease  taking calcium pills rather than getting their calcium from dairy products but that was most likely because they were getting over 1400 mg of Calcium a day. I like slow-release Citracal with D 600 mg one a day plus 400 to 600 mg of dairy calcium daily.  "P-5-P" 100 mgs a day may help prevent aging. Do not go over 100mg a day. Recently, the combination of Vitamin C and Lycopene has been shown to help decrease osteoporosis after menopause. Lycopene 30 mg a day may dramatically help symptoms of prostate enlargement and is good for the skin and our bones..

The only other minerals lacking in the American diet are zinc,selenium,and chromium. Zinc does not shrink the prostate gland and,in fact, may enlarge it. Too much Zinc, such as 100 mg a day, can depress the immune system. Take a maximum of 50 mg of Zinc daily. 50 mg of Zinc a day may prevent 50 percent of serious infections in patients over 70. If you have macular degeneration, be sure to take 50 mg of Zinc a day.  Eye Vitamins contain copper. Copper intake is now strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease, but we do need some copper, so don't take extra copper if you are on Eye Vitamins.  I also recommend only 100 mcg a day of Selenium as 200 mcg a day is associated with a higher chance of Diabetes. Selenium may keep your DNA's "telomeres" from shortening and thus prolong your life.  Take no more than 200 mcg a day of chromium as high doses of 600 mcg a day can shut down the kidneys. Avoid Manganese (not magnesium) as increased intake of Manganese has been associated with a increased incidence of Parkinson's disease. Magnesium, however, is good for you and can prevent postoperative deep vein thrombosis, help lower triglycerides, prevent gallstones, and help tension. If your kidney function is good, take 425 mg a day of Magnesium Malate by "Source Naturals". Do not take magnesium at the same time as your Statin drug as it can interfere with the absorption of the Statin
There are vitamins that have anti-cancer properties, such as Vitamin D, but we know the Brassica family of foods, such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and asparagus contain Indoles which prevent cancer. Vitamin C may help prevent bladder cancer. How much Vitamin C do you need? We know for certain that 125 mg a day saturates the plasma and every cell in your body. Avoid spinach, rhubarb, swiss chard, star fruit, almonds,cashews and large amounts of tea if you get kiney stones but an adequate amount of water and a lower animal protein diet are even more important than a low oxalate diet. Folic acid can lower Homocysteine levels. If you take any Folic acid, always take 1000 mcgs of B-12 as a rare patient will mask Pernicious Anemia with Folic acid alone and suffer nerve damage. The best Folic acid to take is "Metafolin" by Solgar and the best B12 is Methyl B12 but you don't need these more expensive methyl brands if you don't have a homozygous C677T MTHR gene abnormality.  Daily Vitamin A should be avoided in people over 60 as a higher chance of fractures can occur. Also Betacarotene, which has all the chemical cousins of Vitamin A, has been shown to increase the incidence of lung and prostate cancer. Don't take Betacarotene unless you need it for sensitivity to the sun or dry eye syndrome unresponsive to anything else or if your doctor says you carotene level is low..
 I know of no multivitamin that has these ingredients in the proportions recommended above. The alternative is to eat a diet high which contains many vegetables of various types and colors, consume lots of milk products, and lot of extra fiber. Note that skim milk can lower cholesterol whereas low-fat milk raises it.
As for healthy foods, be aware that artificial flavors can contain up to 150 petrochemicals derived from petroleum and turpentine. Usually, none of these chemicals were ever tested in humans for cancer, nerve damage or birth defects potential. Also, artificial colors are weak carcinogens. The average child will eat 3 pounds of artificial color by the time they are 14 years old. Preservatives, such as Disodium Guanylate can cause acute gout. Vitamin C in high doses can raise gout levels, Monosodium Glutamate, Nutrasweet or Equal can cause headaches. A lot of foods contain large amounts of Aluminum. Many physicians find the evidence that Aluminum may be associated with Alzheimers still quite compelling. Anything that contains self-rising flour may have sodium aluminum phosphate instead of cream of tartar as the baking powder. This is especially true for many pancakes,waffles,biscuits,muffins,cookies,and cake mixes. Also, look for the cookies and crackers that claim "no Transfat" , as Transfat can be harmful. Phytosterols added to juices and margarines that claim to lower cholesterol, do lower cholesterol, but act as a Transfat in the body and do more harm than good.  There are a lot of good things sold in health food stores and a lot of bad things also. Despite the word "standardized" on the label, many herbal and vitamin supplements contain anywhere from zero to 1000 percent of what is claimed on the label. Many herbs are contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals. Some herbal teas from China are very dangerous. A few years ago, a woman was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital with digitalis toxicity. Her "Plantain diet pills" contained foxglove which contains digitalis. She was electrically defibrillated many times in the coronary care before she was stable. Kava, Butterburr and Germanium can cause severe liver damage. Tumeric is a natural anti-inflamatory for the joints, prostate, brain and liver. Culinary Tumeric is not absorbed well, so you must take Tumeric which has Bioperin. I recommend 1 capsules a day of the Viva or Doctor's Best brand. I strongly recommend joining Consumer for their up to date review of vitamins, minerals and herbal products 

A slice of cheese will give you 250 to 300 mg. Some vegetables are high in calcium and can be a good source of  calcium but most have only 50% absorption of their calcium content.  A lot of doctors say to take Tums. but Tums has Calcium Carbonate and no Vitamin D and also mineral oil which is known to inhibit absorbtion of Vitamin D,A,E,and K. Vitamin K is essential for the prevention of osteoporosis. Viactiv chews have Calcium, Vit D and K, but are also Calciun Carbonate. If you drink 4 glasses of milk a day, you get enough calcium (1200 mg a day). Also, the Calcium Phosphate from milk may be of extra help in preventing osteoporosis. Just like cheese, extra calcium can be constipating, so take Magnesium Oxide 250 mg tabs (up to 4 a day if you do not have kidney disease) to prevent constipation. Also Magnesium can be deficient in some people and is needed for 114 different metabolic processes in the body.  A high calcium and Vitamin D intake may prevent colon cancer and in the vast majority will not cause calcium kidney stones. If you take a PPI drug like Nexium, Prilosec, Aciphex, or Protonix, you may not absorb Calcium Carbonate as well, so it is important to take enough dairy if you take these drugs. However, these drugs have not been shown to cause osteoporosis except in smokers. .


These of the supplements I take every day:
Magnesium Malate by Source Naturals 425 mg 3 tabs a day
Vascepa fish oil: 4 a day
Vitamin K-2 by Nutragold: 220 mcg a day 
Cocoa Via: 4 a day (good evidence it supports memory)
Selenium 100 µg: one a day
Green tea extract: one a day
 CoQ-10 200 mg by QUI
Vitamin D 2000 units a day 
Methyl B12 5000 mcg a day 
Metafolin 2000 mcg a day
P5P  100 mg a day 
  PB-8 probiotics 2 a day
Resveratrol by Life Extension 4 a day with a fatty meal
NMN 2 a day on an empty stomach
Hyaluronic Acid 90mg 2 a day
Ester C 500 mg a day