Dietary Supplements: Help or Hype?

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Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements TV ads are so numerous that you likely stopped paying attention to them. But, if you listened to them, what would you hear? The answer is simple – that they have extraordinary health benefits, that they will change your life for the better, and that you won’t be able to understand how you could live without them before. Is it true? Can dietary supplements really be beneficial for your health? Can they make you feel better, and boost your productivity? In this article, you’ll find the answer to these questions.

First of all, you need to understand what your body needs. The variety of supplements is so vast that you might feel overwhelmed at the very beginning. Shelves full of vitamins and supplements don’t make a choice easy. So, how should you choose supplements that are the best for your needs? Think of your diet. If you rarely eat fruits and vegetables, your body likely needs more vitamin C. Is your eye twitching? It might be an indicator that your body lacks magnesium. It’s good to visit a dietitian, who will plan a healthy diet for you, and advise what supplements you should take.

Supplements overview

We distinguish four types of supplements: herbs and botanicals, minerals, vitamins, and sport nutrition aids. They all come in a variety of forms – powders, pills, etc. They all contain ingredients that our body needs. According to the statistics, the most commonly used supplement is a multivitamin, which helps over 50% of adults in America

Supplements can help your body

Remember, that food is the primary source of minerals and vitamins, but yes, it’s true that supplements might be beneficial for your health when you can’t provide your body with enough nutrients. Imagine that even though you do your best to provide your body with all the necessary elements, there are still deficits of certain nutrients. Dietary supplements are perfect for you in this situation. It’s essential to use them as an additional backup. A lot of people don’t pay attention to what they eat at all, and then they are surprised why dietary supplements don’t help them. It’s not how it works.

Who needs supplements the most?

Sportsman – when people train, their body loses water and many nutrients. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete or you casually go to the gym twice a week. Taking supplements will guarantee that you have all the necessary nutrients, and therefore maximize your training effectivity. If you have a hard time choosing supplements, you can visit thesupplementreviews.org, and learn more about specific products – why is it good to take them, and what are their cons. 

Vegetarians – it’s harder to gain certain vitamins from plant sources. A lot of animal products contain vitamin B12, which you won’t find in plants. Vegans and vegetarians often struggle with a lack of nutrients. If you don’t eat meat or animal products, dietary supplements are especially important for your health. They’ll provide you with all the nutrients that you can’t deliver to your body.

Pregnant women, and women who could become pregnant – if you’re pregnant, it’s recommended to take supplements that provide you with the folic acid. This acid lowers the risk of congenital disabilities. If you want to maximize the chances of delivering a healthy baby, make sure that you consume enough folic acid. Also, reduce the amount of vitamin A to the minimum, because it can cause a lot of birth defects as well.

When should you not take supplements?

Usually, more is better. Not when it comes to supplements, though. It’s not a good situation when you get too much of a particular nutrient, and on top of that, you’re getting even more by consuming supplements. 

Also, if you’re taking medications, you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements at all. They might destroy medication effectiveness or interfere with them in another way. If you’re taking vitamin K, it’ll weaken blood-thinning medications effectiveness. You should always inform your doctor about all the supplements that you’re taking. For example, if you take garlic supplements, you have to stop doing that before the surgery, as one of their effects is prolonged bleeding.

In general, supplements don’t provide health benefits

Let’s say that you eat healthily, and you get all the necessary nutrients from food. Does it help to take supplements in this case? The answer is no; it doesn’t. People often think that taking it will boost their immune system, but it’s not true. These products should be consumed only by those people who have an inadequate diet or can’t provide their body with all the required nutrients.

As you can see, dietary supplements are necessary and can be useful for you, but they are not medications, and you should instead consider them as a diet backup.

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