Dietary supplements are intended to enhance your daily nutritional consumption, such as vitamins and minerals. Many are safe and provide considerable health advantages, but others might be harmful to your health if taken excessively. Amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, probiotics, herbals, botanicals, and animal extracts are examples of dietary supplements.
A free tip: Look for nutritional products international reviews before buying any supplements from a drugstore/online!
A balanced diet should generally provide you with all the nutrients you need. On the other hand, supplements may help you get more nutrients if your diet is deficient or if you have a health condition that causes a deficit (such as cancer, diabetes, or chronic diarrhoea).
- In most circumstances, a multivitamin/mineral supplement will be enough to meet your body’s micronutrient requirements. Because they only contain trace levels of each vitamin, they are typically harmless (as measured by the daily value, or DV).
- Individual nutrients are available as supplements at dosages often higher than those found in a conventional multivitamin. You can use those to correct a deficit like iron deficiency or lower the risk of a medical condition like hypertension.
- Large dosages of vitamin B3 (niacin), for example, may help boost “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol3. At the same time, folic acid has long been used to minimize the chance of spina bifida, a birth defect.
- Antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, may help chemotherapy medications be less harmful (allowing patients to tolerate larger doses of chemo).
If you eat and exercise appropriately, you shouldn’t need a supplement unless you have a particular deficit. The proper dosage of supplements may help you avoid excessive use’s adverse effects and toxicity.
Dietary supplements are not controlled as tightly as prescription medications in the United States.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a list of contaminated or dangerous dietary supplement items. Weight reduction aids, “natural” sexual enhancement medications, and bodybuilding supplements are frequently the worst offenders.
Supplement producers must adhere to labeling rules, which include what they can and cannot state about the alleged advantages. Even though there is no medical evidence to back the claims, producers continue to claim, sometimes falsely, that their product may “raise the immune system” or “treat arthritis.” In general, the FDA only acts in the most extreme cases.
While most dietary supplements are safe if directed, excessive dosages of particular minerals might have negative consequences. Some may even result in significant damage or death. Some of the potentially hazardous interactions or dosage considerations include:
- Vitamin K may make blood thinners like Coumadin less effective.
- Vitamin E may make bruising and nosebleeds more likely.
- Vitamin B6 may cause significant nerve damage in high doses. Anti-seizure drugs Dilantin (phenytoin) and levodopa ) are both affected by vitamin B6.
- Vitamin A toxicity may occur when taken with retinoid acne treatments like Accutane (isotretinoin) and Soriatane (acitretin).
- Vitamin C may induce diarrhoea when consumed in levels greater than the stomach can absorb (but some patients can tolerate 5,000mg to 25,000mg per day).
Inform your doctor about any nutritional product you want to take, as well as any drugs you are presently taking, whether prescription, over the counter, herbal, traditional or homoeopathic.
Choose supplements that have been evaluated and certified by a certifying organization, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Never use vitamins that have passed their expiration date. And finally, read nutritional products international reviews before buying.