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Dietary Supplements- What to know about it?

You may have heard about them, may have used them, and may have even recommended them to your family or friends. Dietary Supplements can be beneficial to your health but you need to know that taking supplements can also involve health risks.


Before taking them first you need to talk to your healthcare provider! Your age, lifestyle, the kind of work you do, place where you stay, amount of travel and sports activities you are engaged with, and your current diet plan and eating habits all will decide what dietary supplements are best for you.

They can tell you the benefits and risks of each supplement. Make sure he/she knows about anything you already take.

Anyway, you should try to eat a variety of healthy food, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish.


What are dietary supplements?


Dietary supplements include such ingredients as vitamins, herbs, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes. They are marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, gelcaps, softgels, powders, and liquids. Supplements don’t have to go through the testing that drugs do. Sometimes the ingredients in dietary supplements are added to foods, including drinks.

Types of dietary supplements
  • Vitamins

  • Minerals

  • Proteins and amino acids

  • Bodybuilding supplements

  • Essential fatty acids

  • Natural products

  • Probiotics

What are the benefits of dietary supplements?

Normally, you should be able to get all the nutrients you need from your diet but supplements can provide you with extra nutrients when your diet is lacking or certain health conditions.

Some supplements can help assure that you get enough of the vital substances the body needs to function and some others may help reduce the risk of disease, but you need to know that supplements should not replace complete meals which are necessary for a healthful diet- so make sure you eat well!

What are the risks of dietary supplements?

Many dietary supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make dietary supplements unsafe in some situations and hurt or complicate your health.

The following actions could lead to risk:

o Using supplements with medicines

o Combining supplements

o Taking too much of some supplements

What are herbal supplements?

As you may know, herbal supplements are dietary supplements that come from plants.

A few that you may have heard of are gingko biloba, ginseng, echinacea etc.

We do not know if herbal supplements are both safe and useful but studies of some have not shown benefits.


Who needs dietary supplements?

This is important to remember: that dietary supplements are designed to supplement your diet, not to replace nutritious foods.

Below you will see who needs more dietary supplements:

o Pregnant women

o Nursing mothers

o Strict vegetarians

o People with food allergies or intolerances


Tips for choosing dietary supplements

First, you have to look for trusted brands that have been around for some time. You have to read the claims carefully. Also, check out the studies companies site documenting the effectiveness of the product.

Last, but not least, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.

Some common dietary supplements

  • Calcium

  • Fish Oil

  • Ginseng

  • Echinacea

  • Garlic

  • Vitamin D

  • St. John’s Wort

  • Saw Palmetto

  • Ginkgo

  • Green Tea

  • Glucosamine


What if you are over 50?

It doesn’t matter if your young or old, you always have to take care or your health!

People over age 50 may need more of some vitamins and minerals (supplements) than younger adults do. For example:

  • Calcium- Calcium works with vitamin D to keep bones strong at all ages. Some foods that are rich with vitamin D are: milk and milk products, soy milk, soybeans, beans, spinach, broccoli, fish etc·

  • Vitamin D- Vitamin D is sometimes called “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. In the absence of sun exposure we can’t get enough sunlight, so we need to take the Vitamin D through supplements or foods that are rich with Vitamin D, such as: milk and milk products, fatty fish, meat, eggs, cereal etc.

  • Vitamin C- is often taken in an effort to ward off colds. Rich sources include oranges, lemon, peppers, grapefruits, peaches, papayas, pineapples, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, and melons.

  • Vitamin B6- Vitamin B6 is needed to form red blood cells. It is found in: bananas, potatoes, chicken breasts, and fortified cereals.

  • Vitamin B12- As we get older, we absorb less of it. Vitamin B12 helps keep your red blood cells and nerves healthy. It is found in: milk and diary milk products, dark green vegetables, orange juice, eggs, salmon, meat etc.


Vegan dietary supplements:

Vitamin B12 supplement

o For healthy cognitive functions

o Better immune system

o Red blood cell production

o For skin, hair and energy


Vitamin D supplement

o For bone health

o Immune health

o Low risk of heart disease


Iron supplement

o For energy

o For healthy brain

o Healthy pregnancy


Omega-3 supplement

o For mental health

o Lowering the risk of heart diseases


Zinc supplement

o Essential trace element

o For metabolism

o Immune function

o Blood clotting


Iodine supplement

o For bone growth & maintenance

o Supports muscles

So do remember whether you are in a high stress job or business routine which requires you to travel frequently to various cities and countries, or you are involved into sports, entertainment, and event management work, that demands long physical activities at odd hours, it’s very important to consult your doctor or dietician what kind of supplements your body requires.

Even if you are in a normal routine job that doesn’t demand physical work or that doesn’t involve stress, it’s important to know your body and it’s level of immunity and internal strengths to fight against pollution, stress, and age-related complications. So do ensure that you consume the supplements under an expert’s guidance and constant supervision to derive and extract the maximum benefit.

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