Are dietary supplements bad for you? | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Are dietary supplements bad for you?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Dietary supplements can pose a health risk to you if you are on other medications.
  • Dietary supplements taken in excess have the potential to cause harmful side effects.
  • If you are not in good health, always consult your doctor or pharmacist before starting any dietary supplements.

If you are in a good state of health and have no preexisting medical conditions, dietary supplements are safe for you to take.

Dietary supplements are only necessary if your regular diet does not give you the vitamins and minerals you need.

Since most people have no idea how many calories to take in on a daily basis, few know if they really need to take dietary supplements.

Having your blood screened and analyzed can help you to find out which nutrients you are lacking.

Of course, supplementation is only one part of an overall healthy lifestyle; exercise matters, too. Go PRO today for access to workout routines, goal trackers, and more.

Are Any Dietary Supplements Dangerous?

Dietary supplements are made out of various components. Some are blends of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, while others only consist of one ingredient.

If you are on medication or have a medical condition such as asthma, some dietary supplements can pose a considerable health risk to you.

Even people who have no allergies can sometimes experience major side effects from dietary supplements.

If you want to take a new dietary supplement for the first time and you take prescription medication, you should first consult with your pharmacist.

There may also be a list of drugs and dietary supplements that can interfere with your medication on the side of the bottle.

Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and women who are trying to conceive may also want to avoid taking certain dietary supplements. Generally, children should not take dietary supplements unless they are directed to do so by their doctors.

Can You Overdose on Dietary Supplements?

Any food, vitamin, nutrient, or dietary supplement taken in excess can lead to negative side effects.

Just as you should try to eat a balanced diet, you should never take too many supplements at one time.

Some people prefer a single dietary supplement while others like to customize their nutrients by using several different products.

If you know you are severely lacking in a particular vitamin, nutrient, or mineral, you should not try to remedy the situation by taking a large dose of supplements.

Your body will naturally absorb the nutrients you need over time if you continue to take your dietary supplements.

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Are Dietary Supplements Regulated by the FDA?

Every new dietary supplement that is introduced in the US market is required to be produced in accordance with cGMPs (current Good Manufacturing Practices) by the Food and Drug Administration.

Although some products are recalled months and even years after they are first sold, the FDA works diligently to ensure that any dietary supplements which are reported repeatedly as unsafe for human consumption are taken off the market.

If you have questions about any particular dietary supplement, you can take a look at the bottle and see who the manufacturer is.

Since manufacturers are responsible for making sure their supplements are safe, it’s a good idea to do an internet search on the company to see if they have a good reputation.

Should Dietary Supplements Be Taken If You Have a Serious Illness?

Some illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes can be aided by taking dietary supplements.

It is important to note that no dietary supplement should be taken, by people in good health or otherwise, unless they have first talked to their doctors.

Physicians who are licensed to practice traditional medicine often use dietary supplements in conjunction with modern medical therapies. However, attempting to test out different dietary supplements while you are on prescriptions is not advised.

If you are taking medications that suppress your appetite, dietary supplements can be used to stimulate hunger.

Dietary supplements have even been used to help patients suffering from infertility. Bring any dietary supplements you are interested in to your doctor so he or she can go over their benefits and limitations.

When Is the Best Time to Take a Dietary Supplement?

There is no right or wrong time to begin taking a dietary supplement if you have permission from your physician. If you have been prescribed certain vitamins or minerals because you are deficient, it is important that you start taking them right away.

Your doctor will order blood tests to see how your body responds to the introduction of these dietary supplements. If you fail to take them as you have been instructed, your dosage could be increased unnecessarily.

Since you will likely be taking your dietary supplements on a daily basis, you will want to take them at the same time each day. Dietary supplements work best when taken with food or drink.

And remember, dietary supplements are just one factor in holistic health. Check out our PRO plan to help you stay focused and healthy.

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