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Supplements and vitamins are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect that are marketed in “dose” form (e.g., pills, tablets, capsules, liquids in measured doses). A key feature of supplements is that they are intended to supplement the diet and should not be considered a substitute for food. Vitamins are a group of substances that are needed for normal cell function, growth, and development. There are 13 essential vitamins that the body needs to function properly, including vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, and the B vitamins. Each vitamin has specific jobs in the body, and a vitamin deficiency can lead to health problems.

The use of supplements and vitamins can play a role in improving nutritional status and overall health. They can be particularly useful for certain individuals, such as those with specific health conditions, dietary restrictions, or increased nutritional needs. For example, pregnant women are often advised to take folic acid to prevent certain birth defects, and vitamin D supplements can be important for individuals who do not get enough exposure to sunlight. However, it's crucial to approach their use with caution, as excessive intake of certain vitamins or minerals can be harmful. It is always recommended to seek professional healthcare advice before starting any new supplement regimen.