The Basic Facts of Dietary Supplements

Get the facts on dietary supplements

Always talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional about any supplements you are taking or considering…and do your research. You can find essential facts about dietary supplements on FDA’s website.

Vitamins, minerals, probiotics, botanicals, and amino acids are examples of dietary supplements. They are available in various ingestible forms, including pills, powders, liquids, and bars.
To make up for the dietary deficiencies, many people use nutritional supplements. Others take supplements to stay healthy or prevent disease.
There is a lot of conflicting research about the efficacy of dietary supplements. Here are a few items to consider before starting a dietary supplement plan.


Supplementing may benefit you by:

  • Supplying nutrients that your food lacks;
  • Raising your levels of nutrients if you have nutritional deficiencies.
  • Promoting general and targeted wellness goals
  • Enhancing standard medical care
  • Provide substitute therapeutic options


How are dietary supplements regulated? What are the benefits? Risks? If you want to know more, FDA has the answers. https://go.usa.gov/xuAGK

However, nutritional supplements may also:
•Interfere with drugs.
•Exacerbate pre-existing medical illnesses.
•Resulting in adverse effects or allergic responses.
•Complicate surgery.
•Create new, potentially dangerous medical problems.

Over half of all adults in America regularly take supplements (and the percentage soars as we age). You should know if dietary supplements would help you achieve your intended results, such as improving overall well-being or preventing sickness, given that they may be a part of your self-care plan. According to the FDA, you need to be aware of many pros and cons that we will discover below.

Dietary supplement advantages

Let’s examine dietary supplements’ possible benefits and whether they deliver on those promises. The market is flooded with nutritional supplements that treat various health issues, from vitamin A to zinc and everything in between.

Dietary supplements will be grouped into the following three categories:

Always talk to your health care provider before starting a dietary supplements
  1. General assistance for wellbeing. This is your list of probiotics, multimineral + multivitamin formulations. You could take these days to make up for a poor diet, sleep schedule, or exercise routine. These try to improve daily physical and mental well-being instead of focusing on specific health conditions.
  2. You are addressing specific health concerns. You may follow a supplement regimen with a particular health goal in mind. For instance, you might consume calcium and vitamin D to promote bone health. Or, to be more precise, those with age-related macular degeneration may take a supplement known as AREDS, which contains a combination of zinc, copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamins C and E, to slow down vision loss.
  3. Avoid illness or harm. You can think of supplements as a preventive strategy rather than a way to aid with an issue already there. This, too, might entail using a particular supplement for a specific goal. For instance, to reduce the risk of specific fetal developmental problems, pregnant women frequently take supplements containing folic acid or folate.

Is it possible to obtain nutrients from food?

Nutrients from a balanced, healthy diet may be far more beneficial than supplements. It might also be more affordable and delicious!
However, for several reasons, some individuals cannot obtain all the nutrients they require from diet alone; in these cases, supplements may be necessary.
Some persons may develop nutritional deficiencies due to dietary limitations (vegans). The inability to adequately absorb vitamin B12 as we age (perhaps due to decreased stomach acid levels) or increased nutritional requirements found in hypermetabolic conditions like cancer may also be to blame.
Whatever the reason, dietary supplements can fill in these essential shortages.

A vitamin D deficiency can successfully be treated with supplements. Since vitamin D doesn’t appear in many foods, this deficiency is widespread but treated with dietary supplements. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is significantly higher among obese individuals and those with particular medical disorders.
Therefore, you can develop low vitamin D levels or a complete deficiency unless you get plenty of sunshine and are in excellent condition.

Applications of dietary supplements

Great video from Alo Moves that breaks down the essentials about vitamins & minerals

If you are having trouble getting all the nutrients you require from food sources; dietary supplements may be helpful. Dietary practices could be to blame for this, so speak to a dietician to be sure you are eating a balanced meal. As a result, your risk of developing nutrient deficiencies rises if you adhere to a restrictive diet like the ketogenic or vegan lifestyle.

• Lifestyle variables. You might spend a lot of time on the road, spend long hours at the office, or reside in an area with few options for wholesome meals.
• The physical factors. You might need a different way to obtain nutrients if you can’t consume or digest some meals. People who are expecting or nursing frequently require vitamins. Several medical problems also increase the likelihood of acquiring nutritional deficiencies. For instance, type 2 diabetics are more likely to be vitamin B12 and magnesium deficient.
• Medical background. Perhaps you are mineral deficient, or your doctor believes that raising a few essential minerals can help you with a specific health issue.

Hazards of dietary supplements

Supplements risk an unforeseen adverse reaction, such as an allergic reaction, side effects, or interactions with drugs you’re taking, just like any chemical you put in or on your body.
Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA similarly to food rather than in the same way as pharmaceuticals. This indicates that it lacks the authority to comment on the efficacy or safety of a supplement. The supplement manufacturer is in charge of that and must ensure they are secure before they are released in the open market.

When used appropriately, the star ingredient in many accessories, such as ginger, curcumin, or echinacea, is typically considered safe for most people. These substances are “generally recognized as safe,” according to the authorities (GRAS).
But issues can arise. On average, 23,000 emergency room visits are made annually due to adverse events connected to nutritional supplements.

What are the main problems of dietary supplements?

Common side effects include nausea, headaches, diarrhea, upset stomachs, and other unpleasant feelings. However, adverse effects can potentially be fatal (such as liver damage or problems with fetal growth) or extremely serious.
• An allergic response. A supplement can cause intolerance or hypersensitivity, just like foods can. Itching, swelling, rashes, and even anaphylaxis are some of the symptoms of allergies.
•Overdosing. A lot must be fantastic if a little is lovely, right? WRONG! Some supplements can have severe, long-lasting, or irreversible effects when taken more than the maximum advised dosage. Read and abide by the dosage and usage instructions on the packaging unless your doctor advises otherwise.
•Issues related to pre-existing medical issues. Some vitamins and specific medical conditions don’t combine well. Taking a supplement that conflicts with an underlying health condition can have catastrophic consequences.
•Connections to other supplements or medications. There are situations when using vitamins, over-the-counter medicines, prescription medications, or other accessories isn’t a good idea. (More to follow on this.)

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Since dropping 40 lbs, I am a fitness enthusiast who understands what it takes to keep the weight off. So I started writing about my fitness journey and find interesting topics to share about health, fitness, Investing, and trending topics. Thanks to you all who have inspired me to take my first step to good health.

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