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The Truth About Dietary Supplements: Are They Good or Bad?

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Jan 04, 2022

The Truth About Dietary Supplements: Are They Good or Bad?

Are dietary supplements good or bad for you? This is a question that has been debated for many years. Some people believe that dietary supplements are a waste of time and money, while others claim that they offer a variety of health benefits. Let's look at some of the most common supplements, as well as their recommended daily allowances, the benefits of combining them with a healthy diet, and the adverse effects of taking too much. This way, you can decide what's best for you.

What is a dietary supplement?

Dietary supplements are products that you can take to improve your health. They can be made from natural ingredients, such as herbs and vitamins, or they can be man-made. There are many different types of dietary supplements available, including multivitamins, minerals, probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids.

People use dietary supplements for a variety of reasons. Some people take them to make up for vitamin deficiency due to lack of certain foods in their daily diet. For example, if you don't eat much fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, you may benefit from taking a dietary supplement. Others take dietary supplements to improve their overall health or treat a specific health condition like high blood pressure, heart disease or poor iron absorption.

So, what does the research say? Some studies show that combining a dietary supplement with a balanced diet can be beneficial in treating certain conditions. For example, people with osteoarthritis who took bromelain dietary supplement saw improvement in their pain after three months. Those with rheumatoid arthritis reported improved wellbeing after just two weeks of taking a curcumin dietary supplement. Other research shows that not all dietary supplements deliver the same number of benefits as we had hoped.

How to tell if a supplement is safe and effective

There are a few things to look for when trying to determine if a dietary supplement is safe and effective. The first thing to look for is the dosage. Whether you're taking vitamins, mineral supplements or herbal products, make sure that it has the recommended dosage on the label. If it doesn't, it's not safe.

Additionally, you want to make sure that the ingredients in the supplement are listed on the label. If they're not, it's likely that the supplement isn't effective and may even be dangerous to your health.

Are diet supplements safe?Source: Healthline

Finally, you want to check if the company that produces the supplement is reputable. There are a lot of dietary supplements out there that aren't safe or effective, so be careful with what you ingest.

How many dietary supplements is too many?

There isn't a definitive answer to this question since everyone 's body is different. However, it's generally recommended that you take no more than three dietary supplements at a time. Taking too many dietary supplements can result in side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Additionally, it can also lead to an overdose, which can be dangerous.

If you have a medical condition, it would be best to seek medical advice before taking any nutritional supplements. This is to avoid a possible negative interaction with the medications you're taking.

What dietary supplements must you take?

Both healthy people and those with a weaker immune system can benefit from a wide variety of dietary supplements. When weighing your options, take into account how much of a specific vitamin or mineral you'll get from a dietary supplement. Taking too many vitamins or minerals can be dangerous, so consult a health professional who specialises in this area, such as a dietitian or a nutritionist, before popping anything in your mouth. The following are some common dietary supplements, as well as the suggested intake level for each.

Vitamin A is fat soluble, which means that it can be stored in the body for long periods of time. Vitamin A dietary supplements should not be taken daily or at high doses because this could cause vitamin toxicity. For adults, a daily consumption of up to 1000 micrograms of vitamin A is considered reasonable. Some may have reduced tolerable daily intake levels because of liver conditions or certain medications. If you are pregnant, don't take more than 770mcg per day. The tolerable daily intake for children ranges between 400 and 600mcg depending on the age group. 

Vitamin A is found in red meat, milk dairy products, butter, cheese oil , carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes and many other foods that we eat on a daily basis. Eating these foods can provide all the vitamin A that your body needs.

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that prevents cognitive decline and strengthens the immune system. Because dietary supplements can help increase vitamin B6 levels when dietary intake is low, many find themselves taking too much vitamin B6 than needed in order to obtain benefits such as cardiovascular support or menopausal symptoms treatment. However, it has been reported that taking more than 100mg of vitamin B6 per day may lead to sensory neuropathy.

Vitamin B9, commonly known as folic acid, improves brain function and aids in the production of DNA and RNA in the body. The tolerable daily intake for vitamin B9 is 200mcg per day for adults and children aged 9 to 13 years, and 300mcg per day for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps to form collagen, which is needed for wound healing and skin repair. It also strengthens the immune system and protects the body against infection. The tolerable daily intake for vitamin C dietary supplements is 2000mg, which is the equivalent of drinking 500ml of orange juice. Taking more than this can result in side effects such as stomach cramps, diarrhoea and nausea.

Consuming too much vitamin C can also lead to health problems such as kidney stones and gout. It's important to be aware of how much vitamin C your dietary supplement contains, and to not exceed the recommended dosage.

Vitamin D promotes healthy bones by aiding the body in calcium absorption. The tolerable daily intake for vitamin D is 4000IU (100mcg). Exceeding this limit can cause side effects, such as nausea and vomiting.

Vitamin E promotes heart health and protects against neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's. The maximum daily intake of vitamin E dietary supplements is 15mg per day for adult men and 12mg per day for women. During pregnancy, the tolerable daily intake for vitamin E dietary supplements increases to 19mg a day because a pregnant woman's dietary needs are higher compared to those who aren't pregnant.

Calcium is an essential nutrient that's present in many dietary supplements. It's necessary for healthy teeth and bones. The dietary reference intake (DRI) for calcium supplements is 1,000mg per day for men and women aged 31 to 50, and 1,200mg each day for women over the age of 50.

So what's the verdict? Are dietary supplements good or bad for you? It really depends on the individual. Some people may see benefits from taking dietary supplements, while others may not. Seek professional advice from your healthcare provider or a dietitian to determine whether you need to take a dietary supplement or if eating a variety of foods will suffice.

FAQs About Dietary Supplements

Do any supplements really work?

Yes. Most dietary supplements offer beneficial effects such as improved memory and immune system function. When used as directed by qualified health professionals, these supplements can enhance your overall health and wellbeing.

Do vitamins damage kidneys?

If you have renal illness, you may need to avoid certain vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, E and K are among them. These vitamins are more likely to accumulate in your body and can be harmful if consumed in excess.

What is the most important supplement to take?

No two bodies are alike, so what one requires may be harmful to the other. However, everyone, in general, requires certain vitamins to maintain healthy mental and physical functions. Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D are among them.

Related Topics

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