Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Partner content: Do You Need Supplements?

Partner content: Do You Need Supplements?

When we talk about vitamin, mineral or herbal supplements this is a very large category and there’s no simple “yes” or “no” answer to this. Your physician may run tests to determine whether you need supplements. 

Some categories of people who should talk to their primary care provider (PCP) about specific supplements are:

• someone who has had gastric or bariatric surgery or are taking medications for treatment of obesity

• individuals with celiac disease

• if you have food allergies which severely restrict what foods you can eat

• women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

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• elite and endurance athletes

• individuals who have a limited ability to eat foods

Many of us can get all the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) we need by eating a varied diet and without taking supplements. If we are able, we should try and get our vitamins and minerals from food first.

Some cautionary notes about supplements:

• Supplements can interact with prescription medications, make sure your PCP knows what supplements you’re taking.

• Supplements are not regulated the same way as prescription medications and may not contain what they claim. Look for supplements with 3rd party verification.

• Supplements can have side effects and taking more of some vitamins, minerals and herbs than you need can affect your health.

For more information see: Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) (

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian


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