Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Use Among Students for Studying

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Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population aged 18-34 report taking dietary supplements. A lot of them are college students who think that supplements can boost their concentration, creative skills, and stamina. This is despite reports of some dietary supplements containing unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients.

So, what do researchers say about the incidence of dietary supplement consumption for students? Are they as effective as the students indulging in them think? Let’s dig deeper into what credible sources have to say about these.

The scale and prevalence

The U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act defines a dietary supplement as a product in the form of a pill, a capsule, a tablet, or a liquid having one or more ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, or others. 

The consumption of vitamins and mineral supplements has spiked in the world over the past few decades. College students are among the most adamant users. A total of $15 billion is spent on vitamin and mineral supplements every year. The numbers speak for themselves.

Studies show that college students are more likely to use dietary supplements than the general population. Surveys also reveal that college students take various types of supplements on a weekly basis. Some 65 percent of students are thought to be regular consumers of supplements. More than 40 percent use multivitamins and mineral supplements. Vitamin C and Vitamin B are among the most popular multivitamin complexes. India has the highest percentage of students taking supplements, with nearly half of the student population consuming them.

Female students are more likely consumers of vitamin and mineral supplements. On a more general note, students who don’t smoke and who are more physically active are also more likely to take them on a regular basis.

Benefits

Allegedly, there are numerous benefits associated with the consumption of vitamin and mineral supplements. Many students claim that they see a direct positive correlation between increased consumption and improved academic performance.

Vitamin A supports your immune system to fight infections, keeps your skin healthy, and improves your eyesight. Its deficiency may lead to increased risks of getting sick or gradually losing your vision.

B12 is believed to be playing a critical role in stimulating brain functions and cognitive skills. Vitamin C is essential because our bodies cannot store them for a long time. It has a major antioxidant function. Probiotics and vitamin D are important for building bones, improving digestion, and preventing cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin E can be obtained from meats, nuts, and healthy wholegrains. We get Vitamin K from the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Calcium and iodine are also extremely important to stay healthy and to produce thyroid hormones. Iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium also play important roles.

In general, vitamins are a great way of filling the gaps in nutrition. Because of their busy schedules and onerous workloads, students are not always able to eat healthy foods. That’s why many college students resort to the well-tested and popular writing services of TopEssayWriting to manage their tasks. Thus, they are able to rely on professional and experienced writers to get their essays done on time and in line with their college requirements and specifications.

College students who work out regularly find dietary supplements indispensable in maintaining their daily routines. Vitamins and minerals supplements help them recharge batteries, replenish energy, and help them recover from strenuous workout sessions. Those aiming to bulk up cannot go without protein-based supplements. 

Risks and side effects

Despite the above benefits, there are some risks associated with the excessive consumption of vitamins and mineral supplements. Too much can really be harmful. Excessive Vitamin C and zinc can lead to diarrhea and cramps. Excessive selenium can also put you in harm’s way by causing hair loss, fatigue, and stomach upsets.

Make sure you control your daily intake. Learn how to read the labels in the supermarket. Verify your dosage depending on the types of food you consume throughout the day.

One thing you should definitely check before taking any supplements is to see if you are allergic to them. That’s why you should talk to your doctor before taking any supplements arbitrarily or at random.

You should also remember that vitamins and mineral supplements are called supplements for a reason. They supplement, not supplant, a balanced diet. You should try and get your daily dosage of protein, carbs, and healthy fats from healthy food items. That is an absolute priority. Supplements must be considered to fill gaps that emerge due to various reasons, such as the lack of time, limited access to quality food, and others. 

Key Takeaways

Vitamins and mineral supplements are very popular across the world. College students take lots of them, assuming that they will boost their learning skills and academic performance. While supplements have multiple benefits, you should not be reckless about the way you consume them.

Don’t try to substitute a healthy diet for supplements. Instead, choose healthy foods, go for a variety of foods, and add supplements to close the obvious gaps. Talk to your doctor to make sure you are not doing harm to your body. 

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.

@jared_levenson

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