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Boost Your Wellness: The Basics of Dietary Supplements

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Many people take supplements to enhance their general health and well-being and increase their
daily intake of specific nutrients. Supplements can be purchased online, at pharmacies, and drug
stores. They are usually taken orally as powders, capsules, pills, gummies, liquids, or capsules.
Vitamins, minerals, herbs, enzymes, amino acids, and more might be among them.

Understanding a supplement’s purpose, possible side effects, and safe dosage is crucial before using it.

What are dietary supplements:

Unlike regular food, dietary supplements are meant to be added to or supplemented in the diet. Even though a product is marketed as a dietary supplement, it is generally considered a drug if its purpose is to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent diseases.

Major types of supplements:

  • Vitamins (such as multivitamins or individual vitamins like vitamin D and biotin)

Multivitamins are a combination of many different vitamins in recommended amounts. Vitamins that are not obtained through diet are supplemented with multivitamins. In addition, multivitamins are used to treat vitamin deficiencies, or the lack of certain vitamins, which can result from a variety of illnesses, pregnancy, poor diet, digestive issues, and other conditions.

Individual vitamins are particular vitamin-containing supplements, like vitamin C and vitamin D, which can be taken to treat a particular deficiency.

  • Minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and iron) – Similar to individual vitamins. It helps to fulfill a wide variety of functions such as building materials for bones, influencing muscle and nerve function, and regulating the body’s water balance. 
  • Botanical herbs and compounds (such as ginger, caffeine, and curcumin) – These are derived from plant sources or botanicals and are used to prevent or cure illness such as reducing inflammation or increasing energy.
  • Amino acids (such as tryptophan and glutamine) – Any one of the nine essential amino acids or additional non-essential amino acids can be present in these supplements. Amino acids, which make up protein, have several potential advantages. Amino acids, for example, may be found in supplements that promote athletic performance and recovery.
  • Live microbial (commonly referred to as probiotics) – It is mainly beneficial for the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.

Benefits of supplements:

Since vitamins and minerals are necessary for many of the body’s essential processes, supplements may offer several different health advantages. Such as,

  • Calcium – Strong healthy bones and teeth, Aids muscle movement, Supports the nervous system, Cardiovascular heart health, and supports healthy pregnancy.
  • Vitamin D – Promote immune health, bone health, dental health, tissue health, and support colon health.
  • Magnesium – Promotes healthy blood sugar regulation, reduces stress, helps to maintain healthy bones, and improves sleep.
  • Folic acid – Helps support pregnancy, reduce pregnancy-related complications, reduce the chance of fetal development issues, maintain brain health, and treat mental health conditions
  • Iron – Preventing and treating different types of anemia, reduces heart failure, improves memory and thinking skills, and helps child development.

Risk of supplements?????                 

Before taking the supplement, talk benefits and risks with a healthcare professional such as a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Supplements contain ingredients that can have a strong effect on the body.  However, problems may occur if you take,

  • Combined supplements
  • Mix medicines and supplements
  • Take too much of supplements
  • Take supplements instead of medications

Signs of various adverse reactions to taking a supplement may include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Loss of appetite

An allergic reaction could occur if you are allergic to a supplement or one of its ingredients. Itching, swelling in your lips, tongue, or throat, and a rash or hives are possible symptoms of this. If you suffer from any of the symptoms or reactions listed above, get emergency medical attention.

How to use supplements safely:

You can take certain precautions to ensure that you are taking supplements appropriately and securely. If you are taking supplements try to follow these guidelines,

  • Speak with your physician before beginning any supplement regimen. Inform them of any additional vitamins and prescription drugs you currently take.
  • Adhere strictly to the directions on the supplement’s label.
  • If a supplement causes you any negative effects, stop taking it right away and get help from a doctor.
  • Before beginning any supplementation, speak with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • If you are scheduled for surgery, let your healthcare provider know about any supplements you take. Certain drugs can negate the effects of anesthesia and increase the chance of unexpected bleeding following surgery.

Sources:

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/fda-101-dietary-supplements#:~:text=Dietary%20supplements%20are%20intended%20to,labeled%20as%20a%20dietary%20supplement.
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/MVMS-Consumer/
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/
https://www.fda.gov/food/dietary-supplements/how-report-problem-dietary-supplements
https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/using-dietary-supplements-wisely

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