Vitamins and Minerals

Very few people are able to get all of the recommended amounts of crucial vitamins and minerals from diet alone. Even for people with very healthy diets, including good amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamin supplements may be helpful.

Maintaining recommended levels of important vitamins and minerals in the body is important for everyone, and this is especially true for people with arthritis. For many people with severe arthritis, active disease makes it challenging, or near-impossible, to prepare and eat the wide variety of healthy foods necessary to maintain adequate vitamin and mineral levels in the body.

It is also important to note that many arthritis medications are known to deplete vitamins and minerals from the body, or interfere with the body's ability to absorb these nutrients. For example, prednisone is known to impede calcium absorption.

For these reasons, many health care professionals recommend that people with arthritis take vitamin supplements. A high-quality multi-vitamin is a good first step. For many people, this may provide all of the extra vitamins and minerals needed. For others, further supplements may be required.

One issue experts tend to agree on is that Calcium and Vitamin D are critically important nutrients for people with arthritis. The average adult should consume 1000 - 1500 mg of calcium, and 400 - 800 IU of Vitamin D, each day. For people who are not able to get enough of these nutrients from food alone, supplements may be a good option.

Before starting on any vitamin plan, speak with your doctor or with a registered dietician. He or she will be able to tell you, based on your own unique health situation, whether further supplementation may be required.