What Happens to Your Body When You Start Taking Vitamins? The Science Made Simple

On This Page

    If you’re not getting adequate nutrients in your diet, taking vitamins can lead to numerous health benefits for your body. Learn more below.

    When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there are some simple and easy steps you can take – from eating a healthy diet, to getting enough sleep, to making sure to exercise. Another way to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to function is to take vitamins and supplements.

    What happens to your body when you start taking vitamins

    In order to function properly, your body needs to take in or produce many different vitamins and minerals. But you don’t always get the nutrients you need from dietary choices alone. Taking supplements can help you bridge the gap between your dietary intake and your overall nutrient needs.

    Since vitamins can be a way to help your body get what it really needs, you may notice some obvious health benefits once you start taking them. Indeed, starting a vitamin and supplement routine may be a key to seeing your body function at an optimal level.

    Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits you might experience.

    Stable energy levels throughout the day

    One possible effect of taking vitamins is that you’ll have more stable energy levels throughout the day. Adaptogens, for example, are a type of supplement designed to help your body deal with occasional stress. By keeping your stress levels in check, adaptogens can also help you stay balanced throughout the day. Some adaptogens offered by Care/of include rhodiola and ashwagandha. In general, maintaining adequate nutrient levels can help support your body’s metabolism and energy levels.

    Boosting mental clarity

    Another possible benefit of taking vitamins is that you’ll have increased mental clarity.

    Consider vitamin B12, for example, which has been shown to have positive effects on cognitive performance. One study found that high vitamin B12 levels were associated with better word recall and higher verbal fluency scores. Care/of offers a 30-day supply of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 supplements can be especially important for those who adhere to plant-based diets, since plant-based foods don’t naturally contain vitamin B12.

    American ginseng, such as the kind offered by Care/of, is an adaptogen that enhances cognitive performance. One study found that supplementation of 200 mg of ginseng daily positively affected the working memory of healthy adults.

    Ginkgo biloba extract is derived from the leaves of the gingko biloba tree, which is the world’s most ancient tree. Ginkgo supplements, too, have been shown to boost mental clarity. Results from one study showed that ginkgo biloba extract enhanced working memory and memory consolidation and increased power in areas of the frontal lobe that generate working memory.
    Omega-3 fatty acids, which you can access through fish oil supplements, are also known for their cognitive benefits. One 26-week trial, for example, provided 2200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day to people aged 50 to 75. The results were stark, demonstrating that supplementation improved subjects’ recollection of object locations, which suggests positive effects on memory overall. Another study of a similar age range and time frame found that 2200 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids improved brain structure. Care/of offers a fish oil supplement derived from wild Alaskan salmon.

    Improves your immune system

    A healthy vitamin routine can also boost your immune system. Your immune system relies on an adequate intake of micronutrients, especially vitamins. Immunity is crucial for protecting you against illness and keeping your body functioning effectively.

    Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is well known for its benefits for human immunity. The best forms of vitamin C are derived from food sources such as acerola cherry, with flavonoids that help maximize absorption. Care/of’s vitamin C helps maintain a healthy immune system and is formulated for easy absorption.

    Zinc is a mineral that’s known for its antioxidant and immunity-boosting properties. It’s especially beneficial for those who are deficient in the mineral. Care/of’s Zinc comes in a 30-day supply and has been shown to be beneficial for digestion and immunity.

    Vitamin D has also been shown to support immune function. One study found that vitamin D supplementation may modulate immune function. Another study found that supplementing with vitamin D at 2,000 IU can promote immune function in pregnant people by increasing T cell production. Care/of’s vitamin D helps regulate immune cells and is easy to digest.

    Vitamin E, in addition to acting as an antioxidant, promotes T-lymphocyte production and maximizes the action of macrophages against intruders.

    Elderberry is another immune-enhancing supplement. One study examined the effects of elderberry supplementation on immune function in air-travelers. The results showed that healthy passengers who took the elderberry showed fewer common air travel respiratory occurrences than did the placebo group.

    Folate is another nutrient that’s been shown to boost immunity, particularly for those who are pregnant.

    If you take any of these vitamins and minerals, your body is likely to experience an immunity boost.

    May improve athletic performance

    Taking vitamins can also improve athletic performance.

    Ashwagandha – an adaptogen, also mentioned above – has been shown to improve cardiorespiratory endurance for cyclists. It’s commonly used by athletes to help improve muscular strength, resistance to fatigue, and recovery from exercise. Rhodiola – another adaptogen, also mentioned above – has been shown to improve your body’s ability to take in oxygen.

    Creatine helps with muscle development and fitness performance. One study showed that creatine improved the ventilatory threshold for those performing high intensity interval training.

    Furthermore, studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation can help reduce exercise-related stress.

    Healthier skin, nails, and hair

    Your body also needs adequate micronutrients for maintaining optimal hair, skin, and nails.

    Keratin, for example, supports nail strength, as well as hair fullness and shine. Care/of’s keratin supplement is available in 30-day supplies and is extracted from New Zealand wool.

    Collagen is an abundant and important protein in the body that supports nails and skin. Collagen supplementation has been shown to increase nail growth by 12% and decrease nail breakage by 42%. Care/of offers a top-notch collagen supplement that blends seamlessly with tea, coffee, and smoothies.

    Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, available in supplement form, that combats oxidative stress caused by UV radiation and thereby promotes skin health.

    All these supplements and more can help support healthier skin, nails, and hair.

    Potential side effects

    Whenever you incorporate a new supplement into your routine, some side effects are possible. A common side effect of taking new vitamins is brief digestive comfort. The best way to address this problem is to take your vitamins with a meal or snack. As always, you should consult a medical professional before changing your vitamin regimen.

    Final takeaways

    Your body needs many vitamins and minerals to function properly. If you’re not getting adequate intake from your diet, taking vitamins can be a vital step for your health. Some of the benefits of a strong vitamin routine include stable energy levels, boosted mental clarity, improved immune health, improved athletic performance, and healthier hair, skin, and nails. Taking supplements can lead to some side effects, though, and you should talk to a medical professional before adding any to your routine.

    You're unique. Your supplements should be too.

    Take the quiz
    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Our Editorial Staff
    Freelance Contributor
    The Care/of Editorial Team is made up of writers, experts, and health enthusiasts, all dedicated to giving you the information you need today. Our team is here to answer your biggest wellness questions, read the studies for you, and introduce you to your new favorite product, staying up to date on the latest research, trends, and science. Each article is written by one of our experts, reviewed both for editorial standards by an editor and medical standards by one of our naturopathic doctors, and updated regularly as new information becomes available.