Dietary Supplements – Know The Risks And Benefits

A majority of supplements on the market are safe and have real health benefits, but you can’t play blind to the fact that there can be risks involved when taking some of them. The dietary supplements augment daily intakes of nutrients majorly minerals and vitamins and the ingredients are selected in accordance to what the supplement is intended for. Apart from the minerals and vitamins, you can also get probiotics, enzymes, oils, essential fatty acids, amino acids and herbal ingredients included in the supplements.

Supplement benefits

The greatest benefit of taking dietary supplements is providing additional nutrients that you do not get sufficiently from your diet. There are health conditions that can cause deficiency or insufficiency and in such cases the supplements come in handy.

Generally, the dietary supplements provide your body with basic micronutrients that are important and helpful to it. The multiple vitamins are safe to use because they have small amounts of every nutrient that is included. You can however get specific supplements that have large amounts of a specific vitamin and mineral depending on the usage.

Dietary supplements help in treating deficiencies like iron deficiency and they can also be used for therapeutic purposes to deal with risk factors and health conditions. For instance, folic acid can be used to reduce spina bifida, which is a birth defect, whereas niacin can be used to improve the levels of good cholesterol in the body.

Supplement risks

It should be noted that dietary supplements are not as strictly regulated as drugs are and it means that not every supplement available in the market has been proven for effective and safe use. Suppliers are of course prohibited from selling unsafe products, but they still find their way into the market and you therefore need to be careful with the supplement choices you make so you can get true value for the money you spend on your supplements.

Apart from getting your hands on supplements that have not health benefit at all and probably contain unsafe ingredients, there is risk if you do not follow the instructions of use. Most people think that taking large doses of the supplements propels them to their health goals faster, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Such large doses can have strong effects on the body and you should never take supplements in large doses unless it is what you are advised to do.

Some of the ingredients that should be taken with care when it comes to dietary supplements include fat soluble Vitamins D and A that can build up to levels that are toxic. Iron and selenium supplements should also be taken with care because large amounts can turn toxic to your body.

Another risk you face when taking a dietary supplement is possible interaction with prescription medications or over the counter ones. If you are taking more than one supplement they could also end up interacting and it might also not be wise to take them before surgeries. To reduce the risks, always make sure you consult your doctor.