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If you’re an adult US citizen, then you are probably taking one or more supplements occasionally or on a daily basis. Whether it’s a dietary supplement that’s rich in vitamins and minerals or in the form of capsules or convention tablets, the product can have varying effects on your health.
However, taking in supplements is one thing and knowing what they are actually doing to your body is another. Just because you’ve seen a great product label with wonderful health claims doesn’t mean the supplement can benefit you.
Here are the top three things you should know about these supplements.
Are you eating a variety of nutritious foods? If not, then some dietary supplements might help you receive essential nutrients in adequate amounts.
However, these products cannot take the place of nutritious food variety that’s meant for a healthy diet. It’s important to eat well.
Scientific evidence reveals that some supplements are beneficial for your well-being and for managing a number of health conditions. For example, calcium and vitamin D are very important in keeping your bones strong and healthy.
However, the FDA doesn’t determine whether these supplements are effective or not before their marketing.
2. Good Manufacturing Practice
The FDA has put in place Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) to ensure the composition, identity, strength, and purity of dietary supplements. This is because of the products’ complexity. GMPs help prevents manufacturers from including the wrong ingredient in the product.
They also deal with excesses, contamination, and improper labeling and packaging.
Recently, the approval of the purified form of cannabidiol (CBD oil) as a treatment for severe epilepsy made Hemp Headlines. However, the FDA was keen to point out that they hadn’t approved the use of marijuana and all of its ingredients.
It’s always good to know if a certain supplement is legally acceptable in the country before taking it.
3. Safety and Risks
Always be cautious when taking a new supplement on the market. Some products come with active ingredients that may cause strong effects on your body.
They may even cause you harm. To avoid this, take one or a few supplements at a time and as prescribed medicines. Your doctor knows more than you do. Trust him or her.
Some supplements may increase your risk of bleeding. Others can affect your response to anesthesia if you take them before or after an operation. Dietary supplements can also cause trouble by interacting with certain prescription drugs.
For instance, antioxidant-containing products might reduce the effectiveness of some chemotherapy treatments.
There is a short video about some of the dangers of taking dietary supplements:
You can also find some ingredients in the dietary supplements you’re taking in certain manufactured foods such as breakfast cereals and beverages. Therefore, you could be consuming more of these elements than your body requires.
This is not only expensive but also risky for your health. For example, excess vitamin A intake can cause headaches.
Inasmuch as supplements can be of great benefit to your body, you should be careful when taking them. Consult your doctor before taking any product because it might cause serious side effects.
Moreover, it’s important to understand that supplements cannot replace healthy eating.