Dietary supplements: what you need to know about them
The dietary supplements market is developing very dynamically. The number of new preparations is constantly growing and the number of advertisements promoting new products is automatically growing. How do you know good quality supplements? What supplements should you choose to help yourself and not harm yourself?
Dietary supplements are intended to supplement your normal diet. They have no medicinal properties and should not be considered drugs. However, not all consumers are aware of the differences between a drug and a dietary supplement. Greater knowledge on this subject will allow you to use these products more safely and better match them to your needs. Read more at the bottom of the page.
Dietary supplements - what they actually are
By definition, a dietary supplement is a food that is intended to supplement a normal diet. It is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals or other substances with a nutritional or other physiological effect. It must be in a form that allows appropriate dosing as recommended - e.g. capsules, sachets with powder, liquid.
Thus, by law, a dietary supplement is a food and should not be confused with medicinal products. The maximum content of vitamins and other ingredients contained in the daily portion of the supplement is also specified. This is to ensure that adherence to the dose recommended by the manufacturer is safe for health.
In order for the supplementation to be safe, you should not exceed the recommended daily intake and take larger doses than recommended by the manufacturer. In this case, "more" does not mean "better". Vitamins and other ingredients can be overdosed and counterproductive.
Supplements and medications - differences
The drug has healing properties - it can be used to prevent or treat a disease. It has been proven to work and be safe in clinical trials. Also after placing on the market, drugs are constantly monitored and supervised for possible side effects. Medicines must meet stringent quality requirements and are therefore regularly inspected.
There are many differences between a drug and a supplement. First of all, the supplement does not heal. Its purpose is only to supplement the daily diet. The very introduction to sale is also much easier - supplements do not undergo many years of research, no confirmation of their quality, safety or the effects of activities described by the manufacturer is required. The word "dietary supplement" must appear next to the name of the product. The consumer should have no doubts that he is buying a dietary supplement, not a drug.
The ease of introducing a dietary supplement to the market, the lack of restrictive requirements that these products would have to meet, as well as the very limited control of supplements that are already on the market mean that the irrational intake of these preparations may entail greater risk than benefits. In addition, supplements are available not only in pharmacies, but also in stores, stations or on the Internet, which does not prove their safety.
What supplements to choose?
A dietary supplement can be a valuable supplement to your daily diet, as long as it is used rationally. Selected individually, depending on the needs, it can provide the body with valuable ingredients. The vast majority of society uses supplements. The most commonly used are supplements with vitamins and minerals, slimming supplements, supplements supporting the functioning of the immune and digestive systems, as well as supplements to improve concentration and memory.
It is worth mentioning that there are groups of people who are recommended to use dietary supplements, for example due to the lack of drugs with the status of drugs or their poor selection. A typical example is pregnant or nursing women for whom almost all available products are dietary supplements. In order for their consumption to have the desired effect, we must pay attention to the source of such preparation.
When considering which supplements to choose, we should always consult a doctor or pharmacist beforehand. This is especially important in the case of the aforementioned pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and all people who are constantly taking various medications. Dietary supplement ingredients may interact with them.
Supplements - when are they needed?
Dietary supplements can be helpful for people who are not able to provide all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper functioning of the body in the diet. The current lifestyle, rush and high consumption of highly processed food do not work in favor of proper nutrition. A poor diet can cause many deficiencies that pose health risks. However, before we start thinking about which supplements to take and which we need, it is worth consulting a doctor and doing some basic research. Only thanks to this will we know which vitamins or microelements our body can actually get in too small amounts.
Rational supplementation makes sense if we supplement our diet with specific ingredients we need. Only then can we expect the expected results. Supplementation should be tailored to the individual needs of a given person. It can also be a valuable supplement to treatment, as long as it is selected under the supervision of a specialist.
Supplements - is it worth using?
Yes, as long as such supplementation is based on strong premises, such as test results, and is additionally selected individually under the supervision of a doctor or pharmacist.
Remember that the basis is a healthy, balanced diet. It is, in a way, the foundation of our health and well-being. And that's where we should start. Only if we are unable, for various reasons, to provide the necessary ingredients with food, we should consider introducing supplements and supplementing the diet with specific ingredients.