Vegetarian:Do I need One a Day Vitamins?

Patient: I am an 18year old female and vegitarian of almost a year now. I am not sexually active, do not do drugs, and rarley drink. Is it nessacary to take a “One a Day” viatmin? What are side effects of taking the vitamin, what about if i take it then stop? What is the point?


Doctor: Depending on your diet, if you are strict vegan or not, and your lifestyle, some of the vitamins you might considering be taking are: – This vitamin, actually produced by a bacteria, is abundant in meat, eggs and dairy products. Ovo-lacto vegetarians generally need not worry about their intake of this vitamin. Vegans can make sure to get it by consuming fortified foods such as nutritional yeast (delicious sprinkled on popcorn), soymilk, meat analogs (vegetarian meat substitutes) or breakfast cereals. Vitamin B-12 is also available as a regular supplement.   – Vitamin D is essential for absorption of calcium. Your body will make all the vitamin D that you need with adequate sun exposure (one hour, three to four times per week). However, if you have dark skin or live in a cold climate with long winters and don’t get out much, you might consider a supplement, depending on your intake of the following foods: egg yolks, fortified dairy products and fortified soy and rice milks. – While it is true that fish oil is a rich source, it is certainly not the only one! Omega-3 fatty acids are also available from ground flaxseeds (added to baked goods or smoothies), flaxseed oil, walnuts, walnut oil, canola oil, soy products, soybean oil, hempseed oil and wheat germ. There is some new research to suggest that perhaps an omega-3 supplement is in order for all vegetarians and for omnivores who don’t regularly eat fish, regardless of whether you eat the other foods listed above, so you may consider buying one from a vegetarian retailer.


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Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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