Pharmacist explains benefits of vitamins

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Trying to understand medical terminology in order to assess which vitamins are beneficial to a specific individual is tedious, but many students can look to their local pharmacists for advice.

Bekah Yeier, sophomore pre-nursing major, began taking biotin, a water-soluble B-vitamin, after first stumbling upon it while browsing on Pinterest and then doing her own research online.

Local CVS pharmacist Dr. Amadeus Nguyen said biotin is used for the metabolism of fats and amino acids in the body.

Students commonly use this specific vitamin to increase hair and nail growth, and it has been known to produce great results.

“I originally started taking biotin because I read it allows your hair to grow longer and stronger,” Yeier said. “After just a few days, I realized it was actually making my fingernails and eyelashes grow, too.”

Nguyen said one would only need to take vitamin supplements if they have a deficiency, so prior to spending money on any supplements students are recommended to seek medical consultation.

Taking too much of one vitamin can be dangerous because the body can only dissolve a certain amount of extra nutrients. Some vitamins are water-soluble and the body can easily get rid of unused nutrients, butsome are fat-soluble and take longer to leave the body. However, biotin is water-soluble, so the risk of an overdose is less likely to occur.

Another vitamin commonly used among students is vitamin C. Vitamin C helps boost the body’s immune system, and can be used as an effective tool to help students combat a common cold or the flu.

“Some people take vitamin C when they get sick, but the thing is, vitamin C is not treating a cold. But, if you take it, it might make you feel better because it strengthens the immune system,” Nguyen said.

One would have to take an excessive amount of vitamin C to overdose and there is not a great risk in taking this supplement. It can be beneficial to students during the winter season when the flu and other sicknesses are going around.

Clark’s Nutrition & Natural Foods Market, a local business on Market Street, sells all the supplements a student might need. The store associates said that students commonly visit the store and primarily come to purchase multi-vitamins and fat burners.

Starkie Sowers, director of education at Clark’s, said his experience in college made him realize how important nutrition is.

“To be able to concentrate, study and work, I found out how quickly my system got depleted if I wasn’t using nutrients and extra-added nutrients like vitamins and minerals,” Sowers said. “I was able to function a lot higher and it made it a lot easier to get through college.”

College students have limited resources from which they can derive proper nutrition, so taking vitamins is important.

However, students should consult a professional to determine which vitamins their body would benefit from before spending money on vitamins the body will not use.

About Catrina Head

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