The substances we eat or drink to make up for a food deficiency are known as dietary supplements. They usually include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fiber or fatty acids to name a few. The supplements are supplied in the form of capsules, tablets, or liquid. They should not be considered a substitute for food because they only make a diet complete. Dietary supplements cannot cure, diagnose or prevent diseases but they help in maintaining sound health. Individuals use the active ingredients in these supplements to deal with various illnesses effectively. The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way that it regulates medicine.
Major Uses of Dietary Supplements
People take vitamin and mineral supplements for various health conditions. Some of these conditions have been mentioned below:
• People use herbal dietary supplements to deal with infections, illnesses, wounds, etc.Herbal medicine can also treat constipation, act as stimulants or relaxants, and ease pain as well. Research shows that some of them are as effective as conventional medicines and some are not so effective and can be detrimental to the body.
• There are some natural products that help in maintaining well being. For example, omega 3 fatty acids may help lower triglyceride levels.
Are Dietary Supplements Safe?
Not all dietary supplements are safe. If you are confused regarding the safety of these supplements, then immediately talk to your doctor, dietician or pharmacist. It is better to consult your doctor if you are planning to use any dietary supplement or combine with any conventional medicine. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should never use these supplements.
While using dietary supplements, one should keep these things in mind:
• Dietary supplements can cause side effects also. They can trigger allergic reactions. An interaction with another medicine can make health condition worse.
• The way of manufacturing such herbal medicine may not be standardized. It may differ within the same brand or when compared with other brands.
• The long-term effects of most supplements are not known other than for vitamins and minerals.
People Who Get Benefit from Dietary Supplements
• People who eat a poor diet or those who have lifestyle issues for example, smokers, alcoholics, slim persons, vegans, drug abusers, etc.
• People who have major surgeries and have severe diseases,such as malabsorption syndromes, severe wounds or burns and in born faults of metabolism.
• People who are under long-term medication.
• People of particular age groups, such aselderly and ethnic minorities, infants, children, adolescents, etc.
Vitamins and minerals play well-established biochemical roles at the cellular level and are important for life. The main thing is that where nutrient intake from diet is not adequate, vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended. But, you should emphasize the importance of eating a healthy diet and doing exercise every day. They are very essential for a hale and hearty life.
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