Did you know that more than 50% of all adults in the United States takes at least one dietary supplement every day or occasionally? However, the term “dietary supplement” is used for: vitamins, herbals, amino acids, minerals, enzymes and some other products. All of these products can come in either one of these forms: capsules, tablets, powders, energy bars or drinks. Some of the popular dietary supplements are (for most of these you should have probably already heard): vitamins E and D, minerals like iron and calcium, herb like garlic and some other products like fish oil or probiotics.
First thing you need to know about dietary supplements is that these products must be labeled and they must have a “supplement facts” where you can read contents of the product, ingredients per serving and what other ingredients were added.
How to know that you need to add dietary supplements to your diet? Depending on your health, quality of life and diet there is a chance that you should not add dietary supplements to your diet at all, while, on the other hand, if you need to add dietary supplement to your diet because of your health – this is something you should do without hesitation. In any case, make sure to consult with your doctor before adding any kind of dietary supplement to your diet.
Lots of people claim that dietary supplements don’t have any side effects (something that sellers of dietary supplements claim), but this is simply not true, so make sure to inform about all dietary supplements that are available on the market and make sure to read all the info that comes on or in the package. Furthermore, one study has shown that one of the ingredients that was not long ago found only as a dietary supplement has now become one of the many ingredients included in breakfast cereal and if you combine the two (dietary supplement + cereal) you get a lot more of that ingredient.
Unlike many natural ingredients, dietary supplements are complex products. At this moment, there are thousands of dietary supplements manufacturers in the United States, but not all of them are working with the best ingredients, meaning that their product is not the best in the market. Luckily for us, FDA has established quality standards long time ago with one goal – to make sure that the identity, pure and strength of every product is within their regulations.
There is one important thing you need to remember – you shouldn’t start consuming a certain dietary supplement if you have not consulted with your health care provider. If you have diagnosed yourself a certain health condition, that you believe could be solved with dietary supplements, you should still consult with your doctor. Furthermore, you should know that dietary supplements are addition to your diet and they can not substitute a meal or medication. Most of these products has written “natural” on their packaging – keep in mind that this does not guarantee that the product is fresh and good.