Most nutrition experts agree that healthy adults can get virtually all the nutrients they need from a balanced diet. But not every body is the same, and these bodies may need more than the average body:

  • When you’re pregnant, you need extra amounts of some vitamins, minerals, and protein to meet the needs of the growing fetus.

  • Ditto for when you’re nursing your baby.

  • Some medicines reduce your body’s ability to absorb and use certain vitamins and minerals. When your doctor writes a prescription, ask whether you need supplements.

  • What? You still smoke? Then you need more vitamin C than nonsmokers.

  • Are you a woman approaching menopause? Time for extra calcium to maintain healthy bones.

  • Older men also need extra calcium.

  • Is your diet strictly vegetarian – meaning no food of animal origin, not even milk and eggs? You need extra vitamin B12. You may also need extra calcium and iron.