What vitamins and minerals do you really need?

What vitamins and minerals do you really need?

If you’re among the more than half of Americans who take supplements, you’ve probably wondered which ones you should buy, which ones are effective or even if you should be taking them at all.

“It may come as a surprise, but not everybody needs to take supplements,” says Michelle Petersen, an internal medicine nurse practitioner at Aurora Health Center in Two Rivers, Wis. “Unless you have a condition that requires supplements, with a well-balanced diet, you may be able to get all you need.”

Though you’ll want to talk to a health professional about taking supplements, Petersen says there are some minerals you should make sure are included in your diet.


Are you trying to watch your weight? Take a free online quiz to learn more about your healthy weight range here. 

Related Posts



  1. I’m surprised Omega 3 was not mentioned.

  2. What about blueberries or just berries in general. Are they not high in antioxidents, vitamin c and more?

  3. Do not know anyone who eats a balanced diet! Studies have shown that most people are deficient in vitamin D. Multiple studies have shown vitamin D to either prevent viral infections including flu, colds, and recently a study from Northwestern showing vitamin D can reduce deaths from COVID 19 significantly and even reduce and possibly prevent one from catching the virus. My physician has me on 5,000 units of vitamin D daily and said he has never had a patient he tested that was in the normal range of D. It would be impossible to get that much D from diet alone. Extra vitamin C and zinc are also helpful. Patients at Christ Hospital are given massive amounts of these three vitamins upon admission to the hospital when they have COVID. Most people can benefit from vitamin supplements since almost no one can get enough from their diet in the USA. The medical model regarding vitamins is often biased through input from the FDA and a lack of training in nutrition and alternative medicine at medical schools.

    • Thank you Ed! You are correct. My holistic oncologist always checked my blood for my vitamin D level. Unfortunately when you have your regular yearly physical doctors don’t require this. You must ask for this and have your levels between 50 and 70. Always ask and know these levels to take the proper amount. If you see an elderly person or possibly any age getting more breathing/lung issues this can be caused with low D3 levels. Study this people and get to understand your body.

  4. We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Supplementation has been life changing for so many, myself included! Supplementation fills in the nutrient gaps. No matter how healthy we eat, it is difficult to get enough of the nutrients we need from our food. And let’s face it, most Americans aren’t eating very healthy. When our bodies get out of balance from nutrient deficiencies, we are more susceptible to illness. Keeping our bodies in balance is key to overall health. With supplementation, people need a customized plan for their needs. What one person needs may not be what the next person needs. Lastly, not all supplementation is equal. It is critical to have supplements that are nutraceutical grade with an effective delivery system. I recommend isotonic supplements when possible. I wish our organization would move this route and create positions for nutraceutical consultants. I would be the first one to apply! Our patients want to know what to take and why. They want customized wellness solutions that don’t involve medication. This is what I do outside of AAH, wish I could find a way to bring it into our organization! We’re a forward thinking organization, it’s time to take it to the next level. I submitted my idea through innovations, but it never went anywhere….

    • I agree with those that disagree. I get my best advise for supplements from Functionsl Pharmacist and not MD’s. MOST just don’t have the schooling for good advise in nutrition.

  5. What about the D vitamins. I take 2000 IU of D3 daily per my PCP

  6. What about people who can’t eat the foods that contain the necessary vitamins and minerals, such as lactose intolerance or other digestive issues? Also, it’s easy to say “you can get all your vitamin/mineral needs through a balanced diet” but without a dietician creating a food plan for each individual, it is extremely likely that no one will be able to create their own balanced diet.

  7. Please advise if there is one vitamin that would provide all of the recommended vitamins in this article.

  8. Darlene R Royal July 15, 2022 at 8:18 am · Reply

    I take 200 mg of Elderberry with Zinc in it, is that enough I am 65 years old?

  9. Will a multi vitamin cover most of it

  10. I agree we all have nutritional gaps, regardless of how well you eat! This a screen shot of ingredients of capsules and shake that is part of a 3 step system done in the first 30 minutes of my day! The 3rd step is a skin sticker that delivers more vitamins for all day energy! I no longer need coffee to keep me up!! Happy to help, if your interested in trying them out! Hope they serve you as well as they serve me! Happy gut, happy everything!!
    Supplement Facts:
    Serving Size: 1 capsule
    Servings Per Container: 60
    Amount Per Serving: % Dally Value**
    Vitamin A (as Vitamin A acetate)
    1500 IU
    Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
    1.4 mg
    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
    1.7 mg
    Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
    12 mg
    Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
    10 mg
    Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
    2 mg
    Folate (as Folic acid)
    800 mcg
    Vitamin B12
    100 mcg
    Vitamin D3
    200 IU
    Chromium (as Chromium AAC)
    200 mcg
    Selenium (as Selenium AAC)
    90 mcg
    Vanadium (as Vanadium AAC)
    25 mcg
    Proprietary Blend:
    527 mg
    B lactis, L acidophilus, L. casei, L. helveticus, L. salivarius
    L plantarum, L. rhamnasus, Guarana Caffeine, Green tea
    Caffeine, Glucosamine, White Willow Ext, Glutamine,
    Green Coffee Bean, PEA, Kelp, Irvingia Extract, BCAA Blend,
    Theobromine, Ginger Ext, Citrus Aurantium Ext, Aspartic
    Acid, L-Serine, Grape Seed Ext, Co0 10, White Tea Ext
    * Daily Values not established
    ** Percent Daily Values
    are based on a 2.000 calorie diet. Your daily values may
    be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
    Other ingredients: Stearic Acid, Silica, gelatin
    Serving Size: 1 Packet (35g)
    Servings Per Container: 16
    Amount Per Serving
    % Dally Valug**
    Total Fat
    Saturated Fat
    0.2 g
    Trans Fat
    22 ma
    195 mg.
    Total Carbohydrate
    Dietary Fiber
    Total Sugars
    Added Sugars
    15 g
    Vitamin A (as beta carotene)
    750 mcg RAE
    Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)
    24 mg
    Vitamin D (as cholecalciferon)
    5 mcg (200 IU)
    Vitamin E (as -alpha tocopheryl acetate)
    Thiamin (as thiamine hydrochlonde)
    0.8 mg
    0.9 mg
    Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride)
    71 mg
    Folate (as folic acid).
    340 mcg DFE (200 mcg folic acid).
    135 mog
    Pantothenic Acid (as -calcium pantothenate)
    14 mg
    Calcium (as tricalcium phosphate)
    400 mg
    60 mcg
    Magnesium (as magnesium citrate)
    100 mg
    Zinc (as zinc methionine)
    16.8 mg
    Selenium (as selenium chelate)
    $ 14 mog
    Copper (as copper chelate)
    11 mg
    Manganese (as manganese chelate)
    0.6 mo
    Chromium (as chromium chelate)
    60 mcg 171%
    Molybdenum (from molybdenum chelate)
    28 mogl
    Proprietary Blend:
    1595 mg
    [Garcinia fruit extract, Oat fiber, Natural Caffeine from Black Tea, Lactobacillus
    Acidophilus, Rice bran, Amylase 5000, Bromelain 600GDU, Cardamom seed
    extract, Cellulase 1000, Ginger root, Lipase 1000, Papain 6000, Protease 1000,
    Protease 5000, Cinnamon bark extract
    * Percent Daily Values are not established.
    **Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
    Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
    Other horedients: Maltodertnin, Protein Blend (Soy Pea Whey concentrate),
    Cellulose, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Sucralose,
    Magnasweet*(natural flavor), Stevia Leaf Extract
    Contains: Milk and soy

Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.