What You Need to Know About Dietary Supplements

A majority of people are slowly incorporating the use of supplements to boost their health. These include minerals, vitamins, herbals and botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, omega 3 fatty acids amongst other supplements. They come in a variety of forms and can be ingested as capsules, powders, energy bars or drinks.

What is a dietary supplement label?

If any product is indicated as a dietary supplement, it must contain a label that carries a fact panel. Here the contents and amount of active ingredients that are listed including things like flavor, binder, fillings or preservatives. On the label, the manufacturer should provide the appropriate serving size of the supplement. However, your health care provider may decide on the amounts that are appropriate for you.

Are dietary supplements effective?

Even though supplements help you get the adequate supply of nutrients that may be missing in your diet, they cannot replace the variety of foods and the nutrients required in each healthy meal. There is scientific evidence of the importance of adding dietary supplements to your régime. Some examples are calcium and Vitamin D which keep your bones strong, contribute to bone density, and reduces bone loss. Omega 3 fatty acids found from fish are significantly helpful to people with heart-related diseases. While folic acids are associated with a decrease in various birth defects. Dietary supplements like prothera have a variety of health benefits that are vital to human health.

Other benefits of dietary supplement

The main purpose is to ensure that your body gets all the vital substances it needs to function well. This will help to reduce the risk of getting diseases through malnutrition. When your body is lacking certain nutrients it may trigger some diseases like cancer, diabetes, and chronic diarrhea, among others.

Supplements can exist as multivitamins and this will provide your body with all the micronutrients. This ensures that your body gets all the daily dose of the vitamins it needs as stated on the daily value (DV).

Supplements also exist as individual nutrients and in high doses than found in typical multivitamin doses. Individual supplements target specific deficiencies and should be used as prescribed by your doctor. Individual supplements may target deficiencies like hypertension, iron deficiency, birth defects like spina bifida, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

What are the safety and risks associated with dietary supplements?

Supplements contain active ingredients that can have adverse side effects. Before taking in a new type, you should be aware of the possible reactions it can have on you. Check to see if you are allergic to some of the components.

Supplements are not a replacement of prescription medicine and should not be used in place of one. You should never stop using prescription medicine without first consulting your health care provider because this may complicate your health further or lead to biological effects on your body.

Some people take lots of supplements and combinations. Some even consume them alongside prescribed medicine, resulting in reactions that can have significant health complications. The use of dietary enhancements may also be damaging especially if taken before or after surgery. Such may prevent blood from clotting or influence a negative response towards anesthesia.

Ensure that you know the dietary supplements you are ingesting as some can be found in everyday foods and cereals. Excessive intake of supplements may cause harm to your body. Pregnant women should also avoid dietary supplements as not so many have been tested on pregnant women.

To prevent the risk of consuming bad supplements, check the information provided about the manufacturers and also extend your search to include the ingredients used and the effectiveness of each supplement to your body.

How do you determine the quality of a dietary supplement?   

All dietary supplements should be FDA approved. This is important for supplements to ensure their identity, purity, composition, and strength. The FDA ensures that manufacturers of dietary supplements adhere to safe manufacturing practices that prevent the inclusion of wrong or harmful ingredients, and the possibility of having less or in excess of a common component. Safety measures include proper packaging and correct labeling of all products.

All dietary supplements should not be passed as drugs and therefore no manufacturing company is permitted by the FDA to market supplements as drugs that possess the qualities of treating, preventing, diagnosing or curing diseases. For example, no supplement should possess claims that suggest it can “cure heart disease” or “lowers your cholesterol”.

As a precaution never take any dietary supplement for a health condition that you have self-diagnosed. Always ensure that you follow your health care provider’s directions of use.