Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients required by the body to carry out a range of normal functions. They are responsible for many life-sustaining biological processes. However, these micronutrients are not produced in our bodies.  We could meet our nutrient requirements through a healthy diet, but sometimes we may need to take a supplement to fill the gaps. Read more to learn how much of each vitamin and mineral an individual should consume, which micronutrients are harmful when a person consumes them in excess, and what common deficiencies there are.


Vitamins are organic substances that are generally classified as either fat-soluble or water-soluble. The known vitamins include fat-soluble vitamins that dissolve in fat and tend to accumulate in the body: Vitamins A, D, E, and K.  The water-soluble vitamins are Vitamin C, and the B vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxal (B6), cobalamin (B12), biotin, and folate/folic acid. They must first dissolve in water before they can be absorbed by the body and therefore cannot be stored.


A number of minerals are essential for health: calcium, sodium, potassium,  phosphorus, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, sulfur, cobalt, copper, fluoride, manganese, and selenium. Minerals are inorganic elements present in soil and water, which are absorbed by plants or consumed by animals.

Scientific guidelines for good nutrition and the intake of vitamins and minerals are specific to age, gender, and life stages. The guidelines are based on available reports of deficiency and toxicity of each nutrient. Legal Rules & Guidelines may vary per country.

Amounts of Vitamins & Minerals

Researchers, dietitians, manufacturers, and governments make use of different abbreviations to describe the amount of vitamins and minerals that an individual should consume. Common terms you may encounter when reading food or supplement labels:

  • Daily Value (DV): This abbreviation is often present on food packaging. It indicates the recommended amount of a certain nutrient to consume each day.
  • Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): This is the recommended intake of nutrients that meets the nutritional requirements of most healthy people. RDA is usually the same as DV.
  • Adequate Intake (AI): When researchers do not have enough evidence to calculate an RDA of a specific nutrient, they will make an estimation reflecting the most recent research.
  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): This indicates the maximum amount a person can consume without experiencing adverse effects.
  • Dietary Reference Intake (DRI): This is a general term that includes RDA, AI, and UL.

Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamins & Minerals 

Each person’s dietary needs will vary slightly, but it can be useful to have benchmark numbers for vitamin and mineral intake as a point of reference.

Globally we know several Food  & Drug safety authorities, like the European Food Safety Association (EFGSA) or the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who set out guidelines for the amounts of different vitamins and minerals an individual should consume per day.

However, individual nutrient needs will vary depending on many factors, including a person’s age, body weight, overall health, and whether they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Daily Value Vitamins

The Daily Value (DV) Vitamins chart below applies to most healthy adults.




30 micrograms (mcg)


550 mcg

folate, or folic acid

400 mcg of dietary folate equivalents


16 milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalents

pantothenic acid

5 mg


1.3 mg


1.2 mg

vitamin A

900 mcg of retinol activity equivalents

vitamin B6

1.7 mg

vitamin B12

2.4 mcg

vitamin C

90 mg

vitamin D

20 mcg

vitamin E

15 mg of alpha-tocopherol

vitamin K

120 mcg

Daily Value Minerals

The Daily Value (DV) Minerals chart below applies to most healthy adults.




1,300 mcg


2,300 mg


35 mcg


0.9 mg


150 mg


18 mg


420 mg


2.3 mg


45 mcg


1,250 mg


4,700 mg


55 mcg


2,300 mg


11 mg

Healthy Diet

A healthy, varied, and balanced diet,  which includes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, healthy fats, and dairy products,  usually provides the micronutrients a person needs. Each vitamin and mineral plays a different role in bodily processes. For example, sodium and potassium are crucial for the proper function of the central nervous system.


There may be reasons why a person may not be able to get the nutrients they need through diet alone. Some people have inadequate nutrient intake or lower absorption of vitamins and minerals.

For example people with restrictive diets, such as vegetarians or people with certain food allergies. Or when medical conditions require additional nutrient intake. But also elderly people, pregnant or breastfeeding women. Or when people experience higher physical or mental stress during an extended period of time, like professional athletes, long-distance runners training for a marathon, women with hormonal changes from pre- to peri-menopause, or when we go through very emotional or stressful periods in life.

Some vitamin and mineral deficiencies are particularly common. Some of these include vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.

Deficiency tests

If someone thinks their consumption of specific vitamins or minerals is either too high or too low, a vitamin and nutrition test can help determine which micronutrients a person is lacking. You can purchase several “at-home micronutrient deficiency test kits” online.  These tests indicate your overall nutritional profile and may give you guidance on which supplements are suitable to take.

You could have your at-home test results confirmed with your doctor, who can provide a broader assessment,  including a simple blood test, of whether you are nutritionally deficient, and whether adjusting your diet, adding supplements or other adjustments is the best way to address the issue.

Nutritional Supplements

In some situations, it is useful for people to take one or more supplements to meet the Daily Values of certain nutrients. The over-the-counter vitamins and minerals can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed. How would you know which ones to choose?

NeoLife Nutritionals

Good News! MoreFun2Run’s owner, Angelique Pascaud,  is an official distributor for NeoLife International, a global company that has been a pioneer in whole-food nutrition supplementation since 1958.  NeoLife Nutritionals offer the highest quality based on whole foods, with formulas based on nature and backed by science. With over 60 years of proven solutions, you can trust in purity and safety for yourself and your family.

Check out our Neolife Page for more details.

Can we consume too many Vitamins and Minerals?

In most cases, people will not consume too much of a particular vitamin or mineral, when they are getting it from their regular food. Overconsumption usually happens when an individual takes too many nutritional supplements. Vitamin and mineral toxicity is rare. This only happens when someone consumes a certain nutrient in very large amounts.

Note that not all vitamins and minerals are harmful when a person over-consumes them. If we’ve taken too many water-soluble vitamins,  the body usually gets rid of the excess in the urine. Vitamin C and B vitamins for example are both water-soluble.

However, fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fat and oils. This means that fatty tissues and the liver store them, and the excess amounts could build up over time. In some cases, they could reach toxic levels. This is particularly common in people who consume too many fat-soluble vitamins. Not all fat-soluble vitamins are harmful when consumed in large amounts. It is generally safe to consume a surplus of vitamin D, although we should avoid consuming megadoses of this vitamin over long periods of time. Consuming excess amounts of certain minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, can cause adverse effects.

Side effects overconsumption

Usually, mineral or vitamin overconsumption results from excessive intake of a certain micronutrient through the use of multivitamins or supplements. When someone consistently greatly exceeds the DV of certain vitamins and minerals, they may experience some side effects. The body uses each micronutrient differently, and therefore each can cause different symptoms.

In the table below, we outline potential symptoms of acute or chronic toxicity due to overconsumption of specific vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin or mineral

Side effects

vitamin A

peeling skin

liver damage

vision loss


burning, itching sensation

low blood pressure

a buildup of fluid behind the eye


gastric reflux


kidney stones

reduction in the absorption of iron, zinc, and magnesium


gastric reflux


kidney stones

reduction in the absorption of iron, zinc, and magnesium



hair and nail brittleness

skin rashes and sores