There are three main types of dietary supplements, including herbal supplements, vitamin and mineral supplements, and probiotic supplements.
But there are some dietary supplements that are harmful and should be avoided at all times.
Although a dietary supplement must be proven to be unsafe before it can be removed from stores, it is important to make sure your doctor knows about any supplements you are taking.
And remember to keep in mind that supplementation of any kind is not enough for your overall health and fitness needs. Exercise is important. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more.
What Are Dietary Supplements?
Dietary supplements are defined as a consumable product that supplements your food intake.
In addition to being labeled as a dietary supplement, they must have at least one vitamin, mineral, amino acid, or natural herb, and they must be available to be easily consumed as a tablet, pill, liquid, or mixable powder.
The FDA provides some guidance but does not regulate these supplements.
The general purpose of each dietary supplement is to provide the body with some sort of nutrient or vitamin that it needs but is unable to obtain through everyday foods.
The three basic types of supplements, as mentioned earlier, include herbal supplements, vitamin and mineral supplements, and probiotic supplements.
- Herbal supplements support the body and have an actual purpose, such as improving skin or maintaining proper liver function
- Vitamin and mineral supplements contain certain nutrients that help you function
- Probiotic supplements release tiny organisms into your body to help combat illness and diseases
What Type of Person Should Take Dietary Supplements?
Anyone — no matter how old, how much they exercise, or what they eat on a regular basis — can benefit from taking dietary supplements.
Of course, it is always best to speak to your physician or another medical professional before taking any supplements.
Vitamin supplements contain specific minerals that are charged with a specific goal. As an example, a vitamin A supplement will help your eyesight and bone strength.
Although different than the vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal supplements are the base of many medicinal practices. Herbal supplements have been used for thousands of years, and with advances in technology, many herbal remedies are now available as a supplement.
You should remember that taking a dietary supplement is not considered the same thing, nor does it contain the same nutritional value, as certain foods.
For example, it is vital to obtain important nutrients from foods such as vegetables, grains, and fruit. No dietary supplement can provide all the nutrients certain foods contain, so it is important not to neglect your diet even when taking supplements.
Generally, an everyday vitamin can help you avoid any sort of nutritional deficiency as long as you continue to consume a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
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Are There Any Dangers Associated with Taking Dietary Supplements?
There are some dangers associated with taking certain dietary supplements. That is why it is vital to make sure you have asked your physician or another healthcare professional before taking supplements.
The most common action with supplements that leads to problems is when individuals take an herbal supplement combined with either a prescription drug or over the counter medication.
Combining these in any manner can cause serious side effects, including paralysis, coma, or even death.
It is important to remember that even if an herbal supplement is all natural, it does not mean that it is safe to take.
Speak to a medical professional first to ensure there are no dangers, but as a general rule of thumb, do not combine herbal supplements with other medications.
How Can I Integrate Dietary Supplements into My Diet?
The first step is to talk to your doctor about adding a dietary supplement to your diet. It is important for you to understand what the supplement you are taking is for, how it will affect you, and what some possible side effects are.
A good and generally safe place to start would be by taking a multivitamin. Available in almost any store, a multivitamin can provide adults and children with all of the necessary vitamins they need and there are different valuable supplement brands that one can choose from.
In addition, taking a specific vitamin supplement can also be beneficial. For example, adding the recommended amount of vitamin D to a diet can help you get the additional nutrients your body requires to function properly.
Remember, a dietary supplement is not a shortcut to good physical fitness. A good diet and daily exercise is the most important part of being healthy. A dietary supplement can add to, but not replace, what a body needs to thrive.
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