Blog | Nutrition

What Vitamins Should I Take?

Staci Gulbin - What Vitamins Should I Take


By Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD

Staci Gulbin is a registered dietitian with Staci is also a freelance writer, health editor, the founder of, and the author of The High-Protein Bariatric Cookbook. 

Staci has graduate degrees in Biology, Human Nutrition, and Nutrition Education from New York University and Columbia University, respectively. She has treated thousands of patients across many wellness areas such as weight management, fitness, long-term care, rehab, and bariatric nutrition. 

What vitamins should I take - Bump Vitamins

WADING THROUGH THE wide array of vitamins on the market today can overwhelm even the most well-read consumer. You may not know which supplements you need to meet your health needs, so you may end up not taking any at all. In turn, your body may not be receiving the proper level of nutrients it needs each day. Read below to learn about what vitamins you should take depending on your current health status, history, needs, and goals. If you don’t have time to read the whole article, you can identify any nutritional deficiencies you may have (and build a custom vitamin routine to address them) by clicking here.

Fast facts about what vitamins can and can’t do

A balanced diet can provide many of the nutrients your body needs each day. Protein, fiber from complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as healthy fats from plant-based sources like nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils. However, depending on your stage of life or health status, you may be missing out on vital nutrients that your eating routine is not fully providing.

Vitamins and supplements can help fill in the nutritional gaps of your diet so you can ensure you’re meeting your daily needs every day. They can also provide benefits such as enhancing immune health, supporting urinary health, and promoting gut health, to name a few.


What factors decide what nutrients you need daily?

1) Family History

There are many factors that can help you figure out which supplements you should take daily. The first factor is your family medical history. If you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, for example, then you would benefit from a routine of nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, coenzyme Q10, and vitamin D that can lower the risk of heart health issues (1,2).

2) Nutrient Deficiencies

Your current health status will decide which nutrients you could use to help promote improved health. For example, if you have low vitamin D, B12, or iron levels, then you should replete those nutrients through supplements if your current diet is not providing enough of them.

And if you have bone or joint health issues, then calcium, vitamin K, magnesium, and vitamin D can benefit you (3). Vitamin D works to help your body best absorb calcium, in turn working as a team to help strengthen your bones (4).

If you’re prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs), then a cranberry supplement may help manage your symptoms. Research shows that the polyphenol antioxidants in cranberry show promise to play a role as adjunct treatment to UTIs along with antibiotics or as a whole treatment for UTI symptoms (5).

3) Health goals

In addition to your health status and risks, your health goals are vital in figuring out which vitamins and supplements would be ideal for you. For example, if you want to support your immune system, then taking supplements like vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, and echinacea may help (6,7).

On the other hand, if you want to manage digestive symptoms, then probiotics and ginger may help. Research shows that probiotics such as bifidobacterium may help reduce inflammation in those with irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease (8). On the other hand, ginger root extract has long been known to help manage gut health symptoms like nausea and indigestion (9).

4) Sunlight exposure

If you live in a climate that doesn’t receive much sun and/or you don’t have much exposure to sunlight, then you may be at risk for low vitamin D levels (3). In turn, you may benefit from a vitamin D supplement. Not to mention that daily intake of enough dietary fat daily can help enhance absorption of vitamin D in your body (10).

5) Activity and stress levels

If you wish to be more active, but have low energy levels or sore muscles, then coenzyme Q10 may help. This is because coenzyme Q10 can help repair muscle and improve energy levels, in turn, helping you to be more active in your daily routine (11,12).  Vitamin C, vitamin B12, and magnesium may also help you to improve energy levels (13).

If you are often feeling stressed, then an antioxidant complex and probiotics may help you. This is because research shows that along with antidepressants, probiotics may help improve symptoms in those with depression (14). Also, a 2020 study review shows that probiotics may help reduce symptoms in those with anxiety (15).


Factors to help choose the ideal supplement product

Once you figure out which supplements you would benefit from, you should make sure it’s safe for you to take such compounds. Check the label for any ingredients you may be allergic or intolerant to in order to prevent a harmful reaction. You should also check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to make sure that none of the supplements you are thinking about starting will interact with any prescribed medicines you are taking.

Also, if you have a surgery or medical procedure on your schedule, then you should consult with your doctor to make sure that it’s safe to take certain supplements in the days and weeks prior. And if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, make sure that the supplements you choose to take are safe for you and your baby.

Finally, you should also consider if you smoke or drink alcohol that certain supplements may not be as effective. Therefore, you will need to make a choice of whether you should limit or avoid such lifestyle behaviors so you can best benefit from the supplements you wish to take. You can talk to your healthcare provider or check out resources like or to help you quit smoking.


Nutrient needs over time

Just as your body and health evolve over time, so will your nutrient needs. Your body will require different levels of nutrients depending on life stages and factors like:

1) Adolescence

As children reach their teens, they are more likely to consume more fat and sugar in their diets and less vital nutrients like fiber and vitamins A and C that come from foods like fruits and vegetables (16). Not only that, but teens require more nutrients like calcium and phosphorus for bone health during this stage of growth and development. Experts suggest that adolescents consume 1300 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily versus 1000 mg daily that experts suggest most adults should consume (17,18).

In some cases, if an adolescent girl reaches puberty, she will need more iron daily than boys her age. Teen girls need 15 mg of iron versus 11 mg of iron daily for teen boys (19). This may be due to blood loss from the onset of menses.

2) Early Adulthood

As a person reaches the age of 19 years, nutrient needs continue to evolve. Up until the age of 50 years old, adults, especially males, need more nutrients like vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, and K as well as magnesium and zinc to maintain cellular and metabolic health (16). Females in this age group, like with female teens, need more iron due to the loss of blood during menses each month (19).

Vitamin C is an antioxidant to support immune function, support wound healing, and to help iron better absorb in the body (20). Vitamin K also aids in wound healing and supports bone health (21).

 3) Fertility

To improve fertility, some studies show that an increased intake of iron, vitamin C, antioxidants, and arginine may increase the chances of conception (16). Research shows that besides adequate protein intake and moderate carbohydrate intake in the diet, women can increase their chances for conception with the intake of certain nutrients. Daily intake of vitamins C and E, as well as coenzyme q10, can limit cell damage through their antioxidant properties, and in turn, can improve chances of fertility (22).

Also, research shows that vitamin C intake can help stimulate certain processes during pregnancy that support gestation and reduce the risk of miscarriage (22). It’s also important to note that women who may become pregnant should consume at least 400 micrograms (mcg) per day of folic acid and have healthy B12 levels to prevent neural tube defects in the baby (16,22).

4) Pregnancy

Besides needing 300 calories per day during pregnancy to support gestation, research also shows that women require a higher intake of protein to support fetal growth and milk production (16,23).

It’s also vital for women to consume higher than normal levels of vitamins A, C, E, iron, and folate, along with other B vitamins to support the growth and development of the baby (16). This can usually be met by taking a daily prenatal vitamin during pregnancy.  A standard prenatal vitamin contains about 27 mg of iron and 400 to 800 mcg of folate, along with ample amounts of other vital nutrients (23).

Be sure though that vitamin A intakes do not exceed 8000 IU since this can reduce immune function and increase death rates in unborn children (23). Also, remember that multiple births may require higher intakes of vitamin D and calcium, so be sure to talk with your healthcare provider for specific nutrient recommendations in such cases.

5) Breastfeeding

Women who are breastfeeding require not just 500 extra calories and 25 grams more protein per day than their normal intake to maintain weight, but also higher intakes of certain nutrients (23).  Experts suggest that women continue to take a prenatal vitamin daily during this time since both fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and K, as well as water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, folate, thiamine, B6, and B12, are secreted into breast milk (23).

6) Middle Age

Those in middle age need more vitamin B6 than other people due to a decrease in their ability to absorb this nutrient (16). Vitamin B6 is important for the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins for energy as well as immune function and cognitive development (24). Therefore, adults older than the age of 50 should consume at least 1.5 mg of B6 daily for women and 1.7 mg daily for men as compared to 1.3 mg daily for adults between 19 and 50 years of age (24). Middle-aged adults will also need to consume more vitamin D to support bone health since bone mass tends to weaken as people age (16).

7) Older age

Elderly adults will continue to require more vitamin D and calcium than the average adult to support bone health and prevent bone fractures that could have a negative impact on mobility and quality of life (16,25). Older adults should consume at least 1200 mg of calcium daily and have their vitamin D levels checked each year to ensure they have normal levels (18).


Other life events requiring increased nutrient intake

In addition to increased nutrient needs as one grows and ages, a person will also require varying levels of nutrients in life events such as illness, infection, or injury. When it comes to injuries such as wounds and pressure injuries, for example, protein needs will increase significantly due to the protein being lost in wound exudates daily as healing occurs (26). Impairments in immunity may occur during such events as well, so immune support nutrients like vitamin C and zinc may also be beneficial (27).


How to assess changing vitamin and nutrient needs

Because of this, it’s important to reassess your nutrient needs by making sure you visit your healthcare provider every year to have vitamin and nutrient levels checked like:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Phosphorus
  • Sodium

In addition, checking metabolic markers like glucose and HgA1C as well as blood lipid levels like total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides is key to ensuring you’re consuming adequate nutrients daily. Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and green tea could help support heart health if your labs determine this is an area of your health that needs improvement.


How you can fit vitamins and supplements in your daily routine

Taking vitamins and supplements each day can seem like one more task to place on your to-do list and in your weekly budget. However, to make this important part of your healthy lifestyle a little easier, provides you a 28-day custom vitamin routine, designed to meet your specific nutritional needs. Every routine is made-to-order, pre-sorted into daily pouches and verified by a licensed pharmacist. Your order is then shipped direct to you from a pharmacy… not a warehouse. Bump only uses natural, high-grade supplements made in the USA by GMP certified manufacturers, so you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy optimal health.



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