Most of the adults consume one or more dietary supplements either every day or occasionaly. Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, amini acids, omega 3,6 and 9. Today’s dietary supplements come in various forms like tablets, capsules, powders, bars and even drinks. These supplements include calcium, minerals; vitamins like D and E; herbs like echinacea and garlic and some even include probiotics and fish oil in the list of ingredients. Some supplements include these ingredients and some don’t. Here are some facts you need to check before buying a dietary suppliment:
Check the Supplement Label
All products carry a supplement facts label on them that usually list the ingredients and the contents per serving and other ingredients like flavouring and binders. The supplement company might suggest you a serving but your physician might decide that a different serving is more appropriate for you.
How effective is it?
If you don’t eat nutritious food then some certain supplements might help you get the essential nutrients. It is proved that some supplements are effective in managing overall health and managing some health conditions. Vitamin D and Calcium are important for bones and prevents bone loss, folic acid can be effective for certain birth defects and Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil is beneficial foe people with heart conditions. So, you have to check that which supplement is effective for you.
Being smart is the first thing you should do when buying dietary supplements. Know the location of the manufacturer or the distributor. When the manufacturer is claiming the product to be too good, it probably too good to be true. Be careful of the terms like “ No side Effects” and “Totally Safe”. Natural doesn’t mean safe. Ask your physician or a your doctor before taking any supplement. Check out non-commercial sites like NIH, FDA, USDA instead of depending on the information from the seller.
Are There Any Risks?
Many supplements have active ingredients that can have strong biological effects on the body. This makes the supplements unsafe and can even harm your health. Combining dietary supplements with prescription drugs is not a smart thing to do. It can be harmful – even life threatening. Substituting your regular medicine with supplements is also not a smart decision and consuming too much Vitamin A, D and Iron supplements can have severe effects before, during and after surgery.
We understand that it is not possible to get all the nutrients from our regular food and supplements are necessary to get all the vitamins and minerals. But understanding your body’s needs and asking your healthcare provider before consuming a supplement is the best decision you could make.
Image Courtesy: Arogyamasthu, Nutra Ingredients, Lifehack, Men’shealth Malaysia, BBC.com