Vitamin Cheat Sheet: How do I know which vitamins to take?





If you’re anything like us, you find the vitamin aisle at the chemist so incredibly overwhelming, it’s almost easier to just skip it altogether and mainline for the jelly beans and bandaids.

There’s just so. Many. Choices. And so many brands. And so many letters of the alphabet. As and Ds and Cs and Es. Magnesium. Multi vitamins. Ginkgo. Gingseng. Fish oil. (What exactly is fish oil? How do you oil a fish?) So, how do I know which vitamins to take?

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Terry White Chemists. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.

There’s so many words that you haven’t heard since Year 8 science class.

It kind of makes you tired just thinking about it – which is funny in itself because being tired is probably one of the reasons you walked into the chemist to find vitamins in the first place.

If you’re a mum, chances are you’ve got the kids’ vitamins lined up for your children every morning. But we know that you’re probably not taking them yourself.

But here’s the thing. The flu season is upon us. We know most of you have woken up at some point with a sore throat or runny nose and we’ve decided it’s time for all of us to know our vitamin C from our vitamin B and our fish oils from our olive oils.

So we’ve put together this little cheat sheet – on what you need to know and what you need to take. We spoke to Terry White Chemists Pharmacist Krystel Tresillian about where you should start.


Q: What advice would you give someone who’s hitting the vitamin aisle for the first time and doesn’t know their vitamin As from their Ds? Where should they start and what kind of questions should they ask their pharmacist?

A: If someone is shopping for vitamins and aren’t sure of what they might need, they should discuss the following with their pharmacist:

– Is there a particular reason they are shopping for vitamins? Do they feel run down, stressed, fatigued etc? Are they concerned about a particular medical condition they may have? Are they hoping to prevent a particular issue i.e. boost immunity, reduce the risk of arthritis?

– Have they been diagnosed with any particular medical condition?

– Are they taking any other prescription or over the counter medication? Do they have any allergies?

– Are they pregnant or breastfeeding?

Q: What type of vitamin would you recommend for a woman who wants to take something for overall health?

A: Multivitamins are a good place to start for most women, provided they are high quality and women’s specific. Fish Oil is also a great idea as it has multiple potential benefits. Women, specifically as we get older, may also benefit from a Calcium supplement.


Q: It’s winter – is there a variety of vitamin available that will ward off colds and flu this season?

A: There are multiple vitamins to take to help reduce the risk of colds and flu, the most common ones being Vitamin C and Zinc. They may not prevent you getting sick but they can reduce your risk. This is in addition to other essential preventative measures such as getting your flu vaccine, practicing good hygiene and getting plenty of rest.

Q: What about joints and arthritis pain – we hear that’s quite prevalent during winter?

A: The cold weather can cause some people to experience more joint pain and arthritis pain. While Glucosamine and Fish Oil may help with arthritis symptoms these supplements work best when taking regularly, so if you’re just starting to take a vitamin you may need to use other treatments during the winter months for pain relief. For products you can use for more immediate relief, try heat packs, rubs or over the counter medication. Your pharmacist can help you with advice on joint and arthritis pain treatments.

Q: Is there any vitamin that helps the stress heads ?

Stress seems a common part of everyday life and while we can’t always control the causes of stress we can take measures to reduce it. Firstly, try and get a good night’s sleep. Eat well and drink plenty of water and if you can, try and exercise. Exercise boosts your body’s endorphins and can give you a little ‘me time’. If you are trying these measures but still feel you need the occasional supplement to assist, consider a Vitamin B complex. Your pharmacist can give you more advice.


A: Women are generally pretty good at looking after everyone – their partners, their kids – but not so much themselves. Is there any advice you have for women out there?

The advice for women is probably not so different from the advice for everyone. Life is so fast paced these days we can all sometimes forget to focus on our health. But our health should be one of our priorities, and it’s particularly important in winter when your body’s immune system will have to work harder to protect you from colds and flu. Remember to get a good night’s sleep, eat well and exercise. If you feel you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet or you want to address a particular health concern talk to your pharmacist about a vitamin or supplement that may be able to assist you.

At Terry White Chemists we’re looking out for all Australians with the best healthcare products and services. We’re making life easier with health solutions that are right for you. We believe life shouldn’t be complicated and that you’ll find great value on every shelf. That’s a big tick for your family. Terry White Chemists. Value Health.

This post is sponsored by Terry White Chemists. Comments on this post are just for this post. If you have questions about sponsored posts or the choice of advertisers please click here.

 What vitamins do you take?