Our body mostly depends on essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to function correctly. They also affect our health, as a steady supply of vitamins and nutrients can reduce the risk of getting diseases. But most people struggle to provide these essential vitamins and nutrients to their body because of their food habits.
Dietary supplements cannot replace nutritious and vitamin-rich diets. But they can supply sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals to reduce the deficiency. Supplements can also play an essential role in helping you to shape a healthy lifestyle. In this article, we will discuss the key factors you need to consider when consuming dietary supplements.
What is a Dietary Supplement?
A dietary supplement is a substance that most individuals use to add nutrients to their daily diet. It can be vitamins, minerals, herbal ingredients, or other dietary components such as amino acids. It mainly acts as a method for adding any missing elements to the diet. For example, if someone has a Vitamin C deficiency, then supplementing the diet with Vitamin C will help them overcome their deficiency.
Dietary supplements generally come in various forms like pills, powders, liquids, and energy bars. But remember, these are not medicines, and neither can they prevent diseases. Many people use dietary supplements to add the necessary nutrients or boost their energy to obtain a goodnight’s sleep.
Helpful Benefits of Dietary Supplements
Generally, an individual needs all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to have a balanced diet. But if you fail to eat healthy and nutritious meals daily, you can get the essential nutrients via dietary supplements. However, keep in mind that dietary supplements cannot replace the variety of healthy and nutritious food and are best used alongside a varied diet. So, let us look at a few benefits of dietary supplements.
Dietary Supplements are Beneficial in Pregnancy
A pregnant woman must intake 400 to 1000 micrograms of folic acid daily, either from meals or extra supplements. Folic acid is a B Vitamin that helps in developing genetic code, such as DNA. Folic acid also reduces the risk of any congenital disabilities.
Can Provide Essential Nutrients to Old People
As an individual grows older, they may need more vitamins and minerals compared to the younger population. Calcium and Vitamin D increases bone strength, thus reducing the chance of getting diseases like osteoporosis and improving the condition of bones and their fragility.
Individuals with Food Allergies and Other Restrictions
Many people have various problems intaking nutrients, and minerals in their daily diet, for example, those following vegan diets or those that have digestive issues, or allergies. In such cases, dietary supplements can make this much more manageable and assist them in getting the nutrients they need for optimum bodily function.
Helps in Maintaining Health in General
Dietary supplements can improve and maintain your overall health by providing the essential nutrients your body requires. For example, Vitamin B12 can keep your nerve and blood cells strong and healthy.
Improves the Immune System
Some dietary supplements like Vitamin C and Vitamin E can also improve your immune system. For better results, use liposomal Vitamin C
supplements to have a higher absorption rate with small doses and make sure you’re body is getting the best out of these supplements.
Consult with a Health Professional
Most experts recommend a consultation with a professional before taking any dietary supplements. Many supplements contain large doses of nutrients that can have an adverse effect on the human body. A person can also damage their body using supplements without any expert advice which can be dangerous to health.
So, here is some general advice to help you.
- Dietary supplements cannot cure any disease. They can certainly reduce the risk of getting it, but they are not vaccines.
- Certain dietary supplements can be harmful when used in combination with your existing prescribed medicines.
- Replacing prescribed drugs with supplements can result in severe health complications.
- If you’re about to have surgery or any operation, inform the surgeon about any supplements you are currently taking.
Risk of Buying Dietary Supplements
Most countries don’t have a strict law for manufacturing dietary supplements. So, the production department doesn’t need to provide any evidence regarding its effectiveness and safety. But the U.S food and drug administration (FDA) does have a catalog of dangerous products marketed as dietary supplements. The unlawful manufacturers primarily sell sexual enhancement capsules and steroids under the garb of supplements. So, lawful manufacturers do maintain specific guidelines and product quality. But that doesn’t stop them from branding their product in a deceptive way like “cures arthritis.” So, you need to be very careful before buying such products.
Dietary supplements can help an individual to add essential vitamins and nutrients to his diet. But it is necessary to consult a professional before going for any supplements. You also need to mention your existing medications to your health advisor. Generally, if you eat healthily and work out regularly, you don’t need supplements unless you have a specific vitamin deficiency.