Many people take dietary supplements; also, up to 50% of adults use supplements. When determining whether or not to take supplements, many questions can arise:
What are dietary supplements?
What supplements are available?
Do I need nutritional supplements?
How much should I take?
Where can/should I buy nutritional supplements?
What does science say about taking supplements?
WHAT ARE DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS?
Dietary supplements shall be specified as :
Products that are complementary to your general nutrition.
The concentration of nutrients or other substances having a physiological or nutritional effect.
Supplements are available in different quantities such as pills, capsules, powders or other types.
WHAT SUPPLEMENTS ARE AVAILABLE?
There are several different nutritional supplements on the market. We can be categorized into the following categories:
Vitamins and provitamins: folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamin.
Macro and trace elements: calcium, magnesium, iron, chromium.
Carbohydrates: fructose and glucose composites.
Flavonoids: polyphenols(Present in almost all plants and strong antioxidants), carotene, lycopene(It’s a carotenoid pigment that gives the meat a bright red color.)
Plant extracts: extracts from pomegranate, cranberry, etc.
Enzymes: protein- and sugar-splitting enzymes, like lactase
Vitaminoids: vitamin-like substances like flavonoids(Plant compounds that may have a positive effect on the body), coenzyme Q10.
Amino acids and derivatives: L-arginine, L-carnitine, taurine.
Mineral supplements: silica, dolomite.
Other dietary supplements: probiotic cultures, yeast extract
DO I NEED NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS?
You don’t need any nutritional supplements when you eat a balanced diet. Nevertheless, at times in life (e.g., growth stages, childbirth, breastfeeding, old age), most people often need more vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and the like.
Now is when it’s a great time to take supplements. Other illnesses, restrictive diets (e.g. vegan diet), food sensitivities (e.g. lactose intolerance) or high alcohol or tobacco consumption increasing contribute to nutritional deficiencies. Supplements can have a positive effect on the effects of many diseases.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE?
The substances in the supplements have a transformative role in your body: they affect your metabolism, cell division, and cell growth.
Overdose can be harmful. Multivitamin overdose can damage your organs. Too much vitamin A can cause skin and liver problems, too much vitamin C can disrupt the metabolism and cause kidney stones, too much vitamin K can reduce the effect of blood thinners.
That’s why it’s important to consult your doctor about the correct dosage.
WHAT DOES SCIENCE SAY ABOUT TAKING SUPPLEMENTS?
Many studies have shown that taking dietary supplements preventively does not improve you in any way, nor does it ensure that you live longer. The opposite is true: as mentioned above, taking too much or supplementing when you do not have a deficiency may cause health problems.