Vitamins and Supplements

People often choose to augment their diet with vitamins and supplements. Below are various categories of vitamins and supplements. Click on a product category link to see which products pharmacists recommend most often. Learn more about our Top Recommended Health Products.

Recommended Products by Category

Omega-3/ Fish Oil Supplements

In addition to being found in tuna, salmon, and mackerel, among other types, fish oil is also available in supplement form. It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce blood clotting and inflammation, and boost immunity. Some people take fish oil supplements to help prevent heart conditions or to help with inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or psoriasis, since omega-3s may reduce pain and swelling. See oral anti-inflammatory products.

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Oral Nail Strengtheners

Nails serve to safeguard fingertips and toes. These products are typically packed with vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin, which may thicken nails. Careful: Brittle nails are not only poor protectors, but they may also indicate a fungal infection or even thyroid disease. If you're concerned about your nail health, see a healthcare professional. Also see multivitamins.

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Bone/ Joint Strengtheners

Did you know that bone density is typically highest between ages 25 and 35, then decreases after that? Maintaining healthy bones and joints—where two bones come together—is important throughout life. Eating a balanced diet with calcium-rich foods, such as cheeses, leafy green vegetables, and low-fat milk, may help prevent bone loss. Some over-the-counter products help joints function smoothly, typically with natural ingredients that can help strengthen cartilage. Also see calcium supplements.

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Calcium Supplements

Calcium is a mineral with many important jobs in the body. It helps maintain the health of blood vessels, muscles, and the nervous system, and it strengthens bones and teeth. In fact, 99 percent of the body's calcium is stored in bones and teeth. Strong bones are important, especially for growing kids and older people, who may be more vulnerable to fractures. Also see bone/joint strengtheners.

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Coenzyme Q10 Supplements

Made naturally in the body, coenzyme Q10 protects cells against damage and fuels cell growth. Some people believe that coenzyme Q10 supplements will help boost energy and strengthen the immune system. Check with your healthcare professional to see if coenzyme Q10 supplements may benefit you. Also see multivitamins.

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Fiber Supplements

Fiber is vital to health. It helps digestion, prevents constipation, and may also lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are good sources of dietary fiber. But many adults fall short of getting the recommended amounts per day—38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. That's where fiber supplements come in. See also bulk/fiber laxatives.

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Garlic Supplements

Garlic—that edible bulb packed with flavor—is thought to have medicinal properties. It may help to lower blood cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure. Some studies suggest that it may even help prevent heart disease and stroke, and perhaps lower risks of certain cancers. Garlic supplements contain varying amounts of allicin—the compound responsible for the herb's odor and likely its healthful properties. To promote heart health, see cholesterol testing and blood pressure monitors.

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Herbal Supplement Brand

Herbal supplements have been around for thousands of years. People have used herbs and other natural, plant-based ingredients to help treat a variety of health conditions. It's important to note, however, that some herbal supplements can interfere with prescription medications, so read labels carefully and consider consulting your doctor or pharmacist before taking them. Also see multivitamins.

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High-Potency Vitamin C Supplements

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has many important functions, one of which is to maintain a healthy immune system. Fruits and vegetables are potent sources of the vitamin, especially citrus fruits, sweet peppers, papayas, and strawberries. A healthy, balanced diet provides most adults with enough of the vitamin, but people with limited diets, as well as smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke need more vitamin C and may benefit from supplements. Also see smoking cessation aids.

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Iron Supplements

Iron plays an important role in helping the body transport oxygen. A lack of iron may weaken the immune system and cause fatigue. Some people are more prone to iron deficiencies than others, including teenage and pregnant women, people with kidney failure, and those with gastrointestinal disorders that interfere with their ability to properly absorb iron. Too much iron can be risky, too, so check with a healthcare professional before taking these supplements. Also see immune support.

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Letter Vitamin Brand

Vitamins—we all need them to grow and develop normally. We can usually obtain them through a balanced diet. Vitamin A, for example, can help prevent night blindness and is found in everything from carrots to milk. Vitamin D, found in egg yolks and liver, helps stave off rickets—the softening of bones. If your diet isn't vitamin-rich, your healthcare professional may recommend a supplement. Also see multivitamins.

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Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium does many jobs in your body, such as helping to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a steady heart rhythm, supporting a healthy immune system, and strengthening bones. People with certain health conditions, such as Crohn's disease, or those who take medications that cause a magnesium deficiency, may benefit from taking supplements. Good dietary sources include green vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. Also see multivitamins and immune support.

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Multivitamins

Multivitamin products can vary greatly in terms of which nutrients they contain and their amounts. Many Americans take multivitamins for various reasons—from wanting to round out their diet to possibly preventing chronic diseases. Exercising, eating a balanced diet, getting regular check-ups, and not smoking will also help keep you healthy. Also see children's multivitamins.

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