Dietary supplements include food nutrients like fish oil, herbs, minerals such as calcium, and the like. Many individuals across the globe are taking one dietary supplement and the other to keep fit. However, the question to ask yourself is, what dietary supplements are you supposed to take, and when exactly? This is a very vital question to ask your doctor or dietitian. So many are ignorantly taking from one supplement to the other, wondering which one is active or valid. Some imbalances could occur if you take supplements anyhow, only that you may not be aware of them most times. The best and source of minerals and vitamins in your food. However, it can be hard to eat the needed amount of fruits, whole grains, fresh vegetables, and other healthy food required to balance our diet. Multivitamins are a sure way to boost your nutrients.
How Do You Know If You Need Dietary Supplement?
Most healthy individuals don’t require any dietary supplements. Notwithstanding, some may need dietary supplements that work, and some need extra help from a dietitian. The reason for dietary supplements is that, for advanced people, some supplements are essential, and for those that don’t have access to healthy foods, taking dietary supplements is essential. Consult your doctor before making your choice of dietary supplement.
Breast Cancer Mutations
For pregnant women, enough iron may not be absorbed into their system, which can lead to morning sickness. Also, women who are in their pregnancy duration or hoping to get pregnant should cultivate the habit of taking folic acid supplements. Prenatal vitamins will give these sets of individuals an extra cushion of safety. Young children, in their case, would need enough iron and vitamin D. If you practice a restricted diet, it could be not easy to absorb nutrients like calcium and vitamin B12 into the system. Vegans or people having allergies for dairy fall into this category. Adults that are older than 50 would experience lesser absorption of B12 and vitamin D. So, they need to take an extra step to boost their supplement consumption. Also, for those who have had gastric surgery, they may not absorb nutrients like they are supposed to.
Aside from these mentioned cases, individuals with certain health conditions may have issues absorbing some nutrients. These health conditions include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s)
- Celiac disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Liver disease
- An autoimmune disorder (like pernicious anemia)
- Alcohol dependence
- A mutation in certain genes
- Darker skin (you may absorb less vitamin D)
Possible Deficiencies of Vitamins and Minerals
A test may be carried out on the blood if one thinks there is a shortage of vitamins and minerals in the body. For instance, long time vegans may need to check their levels of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. If you have the following symptoms, consult your doctor regardless of the kind of diet you are following:
- Extreme hair loss
- Bone or joint pain
- Serious tiredness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Vision changes
- Wounds that heal slowly
In certain countries, like the US, nutritional deficiencies are rare. Obesity is more of an issue in these countries. However, there is a major concern that some individuals lack key nutrients such as:
- Vitamin D
Supplements and Safety
It is recommended that at least a multivitamin should be taken one every day. Notwithstanding, if you tend to eat and drink fortified foods, there is every possibility of going over the tolerable upper level for certain nutrients. This could elevate your chances of some side effects. Some side effects are mild, while others could be a bit severe. Supplements, when taken on high doses, are termed as drugs.
These dietary supplements are not controlled like drugs. So, it could be hard to know their content. The best solution is to let your doctor know the type of supplement you are currently taking. Certain supplements can obstruct the effectiveness of certain drugs in your body. Some supplements need absolute caution. These kinds of the supplement include:
- Vitamin A and Beta carotene: Overdose of this type of supplements could lead to smokers’ lung cancer. For pregnant women, high intake of vitamin A could lead to some congenital disabilities in their babies.
- Antioxidants: Tumor growth may be triggered when there is an overdose of vitamins C and E. This also obstructs medications for cancer treatments.
- Vitamin B12: Recent supplements containing this vitamin are high doses. Side effects like dizziness, anxiety, headaches could be experienced if the dosage is too much.
- Vitamin D: Overdose of this could lead to hypercalcemia – a buildup of calcium. This is a fast lane to kidney stones.
Expert Research on Supplements
Certain dietary supplements are helpful, but then, one needs to stick to the dosage. Vitamin D helps to prevent fractures and bone loss. But many products lack real proof for their claims.
Tips on some popular options of supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids: According to some animal-related research carried out, fish oil enhances heart health, reduces inflammation, and improves blood flow. Some other research shows that the same supplement may:
Reduce triglycerides if the supplement is taken as a prescription. Also, it could ease rheumatoid symptoms when combined with other RA drugs.
Vitamins: Nutrients deficiencies can be fixed using vitamins. But multivitamins have fewer chances of alleviating the chances of prolonged health issues, such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease.
Supplements for eye issues in older adults: A mixture of zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants may drastically reduce old age, especially on the eyes.
Professional Tips on Use and Storage
Before taking any supplement, the first thing to observe is to get advice from your doctor on the supplement before use. The rules to observe include:
- Unless your doctor asks you never to try to exceed the recommended daily value for vitamins and minerals.
- A separate supplement may be needed aside from multivitamins because it does not contain the DV for magnesium or calcium.
- Buy supplements that are branded with NSF, USP, or other brands that are approved.
For you to always remember to take your drug, you may need to keep it in your bathroom though it should be noted that moisture, light, and drugs are not a good combo. Your drawer is a sample of a safe place to keep your supplements – cool and dry.