Tuesday May 24, 2022

What are nutritional supplements and why do many nutritionists recommend them?

What are nutritional supplements?

What are nutritional supplements?

Nutrients are elements of food compulsory to maintain the normal functions of the body. All energy is supplied by three classes of nutrients: namely carbohydrates, proteins, and fats while in some foods ethanol also provides energy. The eating of these energy-rich molecules is larger than that of the other dietary nutrients. Consequently, they are called the macronutrient. While those nutrients which our body requires in little amount are termed micronutrients. Here we will focus on the importance of nutritional supplements.

At some stage in our life, we feel low in energy and we don’t feel the same enthusiasm to work. Normally, we blame it for increasing age without considering the important fact that we are deficient in vital nutrients. In this present era, our lifestyle, dietary habits, and mode of eating have impacted a lot on the health of our body. We continue to feed our bodies with such unhealthy foods and feel low. Don’t worry, if you want to enjoy your favorite food, do enjoy but you still cannot neglect the importance of nutrients.

So, for that, we encourage you to go for nutrition supplements. You can find a variety of such supplements in the market. We try to tell you the importance of each and also tell you regarding the best supplement for you.

Herbal

Herbal supplements are a sort of dietary supplement comprising of different therapeutic benefits. Herb signifies a plant or a part of a plant, so herbs are natural. They are, therefore, devoid of any adverse effects. There is a long history of the use of herbs. Herbal supplements are especially beneficial if you are suffering from some disease. But some may possess toxic effects particularly if you overdose yourself with them. Most of these, act in the same way as medicines do. They can thus cause serious medical problems. It is, therefore, recommended to discuss with your healthcare provider before using them.  You should also get your check-up if you’re using such herbal supplements for a prolonged time.

Vitamin and Mineral

It is sometimes necessary to take vitamin and mineral supplements as well. Their use becomes essential when someone is lacking them and suffering from some complaints owing to their deficiency. They can be used by anyone. They make your body full of all the essential minerals and vitamins and at the same time keep you healthy, fresh, and energetic. If you are already active and physically participate in different activities, then it becomes necessary to feed yourself with these supplements. As the physically active body consumes more energy and nutrients, the chance of becoming nutrient-deprived is there. The increased body requirement can be compensated by the utilization of vitamin and mineral supplements. They help in enhancing your physical performance as well.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are considered to be the building blocks of protein. They have numerous beneficial functions in our body such as they help in the healing of wounds, muscles repair, and maintaining the good health of nails, ligaments, skin, tendons, hair, and different body glands. Majority of the people are unaware of the crucial benefits of amino acids. Keeping in mind the importance of amino acids, amino acid supplements are now available in the market. Research has shown that these are even more essential and beneficial to our health than other supplements. These are free of any kind of adverse effects.

Reason for Amino Acid Supplementation

We are most of the time short of amino acids in the diet as these are not so naturally present in abundance.

They enhance our body metabolism, so they are considered the best option for fat loss programs.

By acting as antioxidants they prevent our normal body cells from converting into malignant cells.

Likewise, there are countless benefits to the use of amino acids as a supplement. Nutritional supplements are only meant to save you from nutrient deficiency, so if you use them, there is no harm in them. Enjoy your healthy life!

Why do many nutritionists recommend dietary supplements?

Why do many nutritionists recommend dietary supplements?

Dietary supplements are preparations containing essential minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and fibers, all of which are needed to meet the body’s requirements. It is said that more than half of this world population especially the US population takes vitamin and minerals supplements regularly and likewise spends billions of dollars on them each year.

Many people are found to take supplements as dietary insurance in case they are unable to meet their nutrient needs from foods alone. Others take them as health insurance ~ to shield against certain diseases. The dietary supplements do possess suitable uses. In some instances, they can fix deficiencies and in others, they trim down the risk of diseases

Meet Body Requirement Without many Costs

Dietary supplements are even recommended by nutritionists and doctors. The reason behind this is the level of balance diet they provide is matchless. Our dieticians and nutritionists are well aware of the demands of the modern lifestyle. They know people are too busy to take care of their diet and fulfill body’s requirements. Even many people are not rich enough to buy foods containing essential nutrients. Supplements as compared to foods are even far less cheap and easily available. The nutritionist’s first choice of recommendation, therefore, is to take dietary supplements.

Correct Overt Deficiencies

In various developing countries people do suffer from diseases such as pellagra, beriberi, and scurvy. These diseases can be corrected by the intake of therapeutic doses of 2-10 times the AI of nutrients. When doses go beyond the amounts of nutrients normally found in foods, dietary supplements are being used more as drugs than as foods.

Decrease Disease Risks

Nutritionists recommend the intake of dietary supplements because they are well familiar with the fact that these supplements are quite beneficial in reducing the risk of certain diseases. The use of nutrients at levels much higher than can be attained from food alone may be valuable in decreasing disease risks. Many people, especially postmenopausal women and those who are bigoted to lactose or allergic to milk may not receive adequate calcium to obviate the bone degeneration of old age, osteoporosis. For them, calcium supplements are most suitable along with non-milk calcium-containing foods.

Many people are either strictly vegetarian or non-vegetarian so they lack the important nutrients in their diet of respective foods. If they eat only meat, they are lacking nutrients from vegetables and vice versa. The deficiency of important nutrients may result in many diseases but this risk can be reduced by the use of dietary supplements.

These are even needed during certain life stages, making it difficult to meet some of those needs without supplementation. For example, blood loss due to menstruation leads to iron loss or certain losses during pregnancy and lactation. The newborns also need supplements for instant vitamin K.

Improve Nutrition Status

In contrast to classical deficiencies, which present a multitude of symptoms and are easy to recognize, subclinical deficiencies are subtle and are easy to overlook, and they are more likely to occur.  People who do not eat adequate food to convey the desired quantity of nutrients, for example, consistent dieters and the elderly are highly at risk of developing subclinical deficiencies. If these people find no suitable way to fulfill their nutrition requirements, then dietary supplements may be the only appropriate solution for them, as recommended by the nutritionists.

How to take Nutrition Supplements

How to Take Nutritional Supplements?

Nutritional supplements are mainly intended to provide essential vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and essential nutrients that may not possibly be acquired from your food. Also acknowledged as dietary supplements, these supplements can give considerable health benefits. They are now considered an important constituent of a balanced diet.

There is rising scientific confirmation of the benefits of the use of nutritional supplements and their function in keeping optimal health. They help in overcoming different nutritional deficiencies; they make our immunity strong and also help our body to remain free from the toxic effects of free radicals that are generated in our body.

It is found out that the use of nutrition supplements in old age is especially very much beneficial. This is because in old age people leave taking care of them. They don’t care about the importance of a balanced diet and the use of essential nutrients for the body. If they use these supplements, they won’t need to be much concerned regarding deficiencies of nutrients or vitamins. All deficiencies will be compensated by these supplements.

Consult Your Doctor When You Are Confused:

Though there are a large number of benefits of dietary supplements, information about them is quite confusing. Owing to their outsized number in the market, it becomes difficult to recognize which product is genuine. Don’t panic. It is necessary first to know what type of supplement your body requires. For this, it is highly recommended that you consult your healthcare provider.

You may find celebrities, food editors, and fitness experts presenting you messages about these supplements on TV. But these are not enough to guarantee the real beneficiary effect of dietary supplements. It is, therefore, best to seek the help of a doctor. The kind of knowledge he possesses about your body is not comparable to these celebrities and fitness experts. A doctor knows more about the physiology and anatomy of your body, therefore he will always advise you correctly.

Seek Advice From Your Doctor When You Are Not Well:

Apart from it, some supplements can put your body at risk under some circumstances. These include pregnancy, critical ill health, any chronic type of illness, or when you are feeding your baby. It becomes must consult a healthcare professional before going to use dietary supplements.

Nevertheless, the use of minerals and vitamin supplements are considered safe for children, still, it is not bad to have a little discussion over it with your healthcare provider. He will give you the best advice.

See Your Doctor If You Want To Avoid Scam:

Consultation with a healthcare professional before the use of any nutritional supplements is also valuable as you will be safe from scams and dangerous products. A doctor is quite knowledgeable regarding the importance and side effects of particular supplements so he will prescribe you that supplement which is required by your body and which is best for you as well.

Those companies that make these supplements though do a little research but they don’t do thorough research about them while a healthcare professional knows about these supplements thoroughly via his experience.

Discuss with Your Health Care Professional If You Want To Use Supplements Instead Of Medicines:

An additional important point is that people may prefer the use of supplements over medicines. This is not a good practice. If you still want to do it, we highly recommend you seek advice from a doctor before going for them.

Talk To Your Health Care Professional If You are Already Taking Some Medicines:

Because many of the ingredients present in the supplement interact with the medicines so if you are using some particular medicines such as diuretics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or antacids, etc, and want to use a dietary supplement, it is imperative to consult your doctor ahead of using them.

How To Choose Nutrition Supplements?

How To Choose Nutrition Supplements?

There are thousands of nutrition supplements. Because of the availability of quite a large number of supplements in the market, it becomes perplexing to opt for the best one. Lots of claims and lots of companies, you feel being perplexed. Knowing the ingredients and their effects will help you in choosing the best dietary supplements.

You can take help from these parameters that are quite effective in selecting the nutritional supplements.

Ingredients of Dietary Supplements – You can read the ingredients from the label. You can then make some research and if they appear suitable for you, you can go for it easily. Even dosages of these are listed on it too.

Check For Presence of Non-Medical Ingredients – Since you will take these supplements; it is required to look for the presence of such ingredients that have no therapeutic benefits. If a supplement possesses a large number of such ingredients, it is a sign of its poor quality. While if some supplements are blended with such ingredients, it’s again not a good supplement to get. However, there are certain essential non-medical ingredients. If they are present, then don’t fret and you can buy them. Avoid dietary supplements that contain these compounds such as gelatine, lactose, titanium dioxide, gluten, dyes, etc. These are associated with considerable health risks.

Avoid Allergic Ingredients – Another important point helpful in selection is to check for those ingredients you are allergic to. If these are present then you avoid buying such nutrition supplements. Instead, prefer those supplements composed of ingredients to which you are not allergic.

Forms of Supplements – You will find dietary supplements in numerous forms such as liquid, pill, powder, lysogens, capsule, caplet, and even vegetable caps. They all have a significant role. So, select among these the one you are comfortable in using.

Required Usage – It is also compulsory to find the dosage regime that suits your body’s needs. Don’t overwhelm in buying them and don’t buy them in bulk. Instead, first, try for supplements that are little in quantity.  Go for those which you need. Don’t be puzzled regarding people’s comments as the effectiveness of these supplements can differ from a person to person.

Check Label Thoroughly – You must read the label on the supplement thoroughly. If it has all the required information from the name of the company to their mailing address which you find valid, go for it. On the other hand, if the label is not properly clear and you feel it vague, you can skip that supplement product.

Guaranteed by the Supplement manufacturers – Check the guarantee if it is present. It will be then a legitimate nutrition supplement.

Age And  Gender Friendly Supplements – These dietary supplements should be used by anyone. Though the extreme of ages requirement of supplements differs greatly, yet for the majority of people, it remains the same.

If you are on dieting, then use multivitamin or amino acid supplements. Choose between the two so that your body remains free from deficiencies of essential minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.

Consult a Doctor – In the end, it is necessary to consult a medical practitioner always before going for any supplementation program. He/she will better guide you and remove all your doubts and confusions.

Nutritional Supplements Reviews

Nutritional Supplements Reviews

Well, this is a question that arises in everyone’s mind who read the reviews and wants to buy nutrition supplements. In this context, we have done thorough research and come to the point that there exist two types of supplement reviews about dietary supplements on the internet, namely expert review and user review.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews usually talk about the supplements’ taste, price, and action. They give lots of opinions as well. Their views and thorough description of the product can give you a better idea about the authenticity of the dietary supplement.

There is also a chance that you encounter those reviews that are only fancy and are not real at all. You don’t know where these reviews are coming from and whether they are written by the real user or some company people who want to sell their product. It is also possible that you get manipulated by these companies.

We cannot assure that you trust these reviews as some are literally from a genuine user while some are from fake people or are written by competitors just to get sell and promote their products.

Expert Reviews

These are those reviews that come from an expert like a health expert or dietician who has studied the supplements or who has a piece of complete knowledge regarding dietary supplements.  These can be relied on as they usually don’t give bogus information. Expert reviews give factious knowledge about dietary supplements.

Judge Yourself

It is easy to evaluate the legitimacy of these reviews. Good reviews always tell you a description of the nutritional supplement in detail, like where they have got it; how much price, and how much time it took to ship. They will also tell their experience of using the particular supplement. They will explain how it started working on their body and if they also have some adverse effects due to its use. While fake reviews will only praise their product, they will highlight the importance without showing a factual basis to you.

Usually, it is seen that good reviews come from some established companies that sell products following the policies and rules of the FDA. They will tell you true regarding their products, even highlight those products that are best for you and explain to you those too that are not good for you. If you find a review of dietary supplements look for its company. If it is provided by a person of some company, it can be trusted. If it is from some individual who is just trying to compete with others, then it may not be trusted. Most of the time such unreal reviews are presented on the internet that their first look determines their reality. These supplement reviews are only meant to indulge you to buy their products at any means.

Consult Health Expert Before Consuming Nutrition Supplements

Thus, it is concluded that we cannot entirely depend on the reviews given by people or companies. It is necessary to take the help of a health expert before committing yourself to any kind of dietary supplementation.

How Are Nutrition Supplements Regulated?

How Are Nutrition Supplements Regulated?

At present people have become quite conscious regarding their health and are, therefore, taking responsibility for taking care of their health. A leading example of this growing inclination is the increased intake of nutritional supplements all over the world, especially in the United States. Nonetheless, while people appreciate the benefits of using dietary supplements to endorse well-being, they may not completely be aware of the role of the U.S. government in guaranteeing that the supplement they use is safe. Here you will find how dietary supplements are regulated.

FDA Responsibility For Nutrition Supplements Regulation

It is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that is responsible for regulating all kinds of dietary supplements. It regulates them through its Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. FDA regulates these supplements considering as food products rather than medicine. There is a law, Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) that legalizes nutritional supplements. It is, however, not necessary for the manufacturers of supplements to follow FDA rules. Usually, these manufacturers only notify them regarding the launch of their product.

Some Requirements From Manufacturers Of Dietary Supplements

There are some of the obligations for manufacturers of supplements such as:

They (Dietary supplement manufacturers) don’t need to roll themselves with FDA or acquire any sort of approval for their product.

They must ensure that the product they are going to launch is safe to use. Otherwise, FDA can take an action against any hazardous dietary supplement.

They must make certain that the label information on the product is factually and not deceptive.

The notification is required from the manufacturer to give information demonstrating the ingredient is harmless and the particular ingredient cannot be sold or distributed for sale for about 75 days after filing the required information. The reason is that during this time, the product is looked for safety and adequacy concerns.

Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP)

It was implemented in the year of 2007 by FDA to ensure the quality production of nutrition supplements. This also works to make certain that supplements do not contain any kind of impurities or toxins. It also checks that all the supplements are precisely labeled and fulfill all the requirements of manufacturing, labeling, quality control, supplements storage, and packaging. If there is some sort of trouble, current good manufacturing practice helps in tracking it and also in fixing it. All these are corrected under this cGMP. Thus, manufacturers must synthesize their dietary supplements under cGMP.

Requirement Of Certain Information On A Dietary Supplement Label By FDA

FDA needs that certain information becomes visible on the label of the dietary supplement such as product name, the net quantity of ingredients, name, and site of the manufacturer, distributor, or packer, and the last but not the least directions for use.

Regulation Of Advertisement

It is done by Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It checks the fake and ambiguous claims and advertisements by the manufacturers.

Information Regarding Laws

Numerous laws have been made to ensure safe and quality dietary supplements regulation. These are:

  • Dietary supplement and nonprescription drug consumer protection act
  • Bioterrorism act
  • Nutrition labeling and education act (NLEA)
  • Food allergen labeling act (FALCPA)
  • Dietary supplement health and education act (DSHEA)
  • Federal food, drug, and cosmetic act (FFDCA)
  • Fair packaging and labeling act (FPLA)
Are Nutrition Supplements Safe?

Are Nutrition Supplements Safe?

Supplementation is a hot topic and dispersed among the legitimate research results are thousands of misinforming and unsubstantiated claims. The media, eager for the latest news, often tales scientific reports prematurely. Consequently, these lead to arising misconceptions about different things. The same is for the use of nutritional supplements. In this context, we will try to put forward the safety of nutritional supplements as well as make you aware of some dangerous supplements.

You will see ads for different dietary supplements far and wide. These supplements are presented as they are some miracle pills. So, all of us want to know if these are such incredible supplements.

The answer to the question is that most nutritional supplements are safe to use. Many companies have dedicated themselves to ensuring the quality supply of these supplements. They take proper care while manufacturing them. With the help of specialized and hygienic equipment supplements, they are prepared by a uniform mixing of all the essential ingredients. These companies also make certain the arrangements of optimum environmental humidity and temperature to perform all these processing. If supplements are prepared in this way, then why not they are safe to use?

Similarly, if dietary supplements are approved by FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and are prepared according to Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) rules and regulations, no one can prove them unsafe.

Dietary supplements are usually considered a good alternative to most of the necessary nutrients. They very easily cover all the deficiencies and provide a good effect on the health. Many of them even help you to boost your body metabolism and help you lose weight fast. Though these are not therapeutic drugs, they help enhance your immune system of the body, support improve your memory and make you energetic and physically fit, and strong.

No doubt, manufacturers of these supplements don’t need to seek the approval of the FDA, but once a dietary supplement is launched and brought to the market, FDA monitors it. If it is found to be a health hazard, it is withdrawn from the market. So you can take an idea from the availability of the supplements or from the period it has been in the market. If these have been prevailing in the market for years, it means these are safe to use.

We cannot deny the fact that some of these supplements prove to be dangerous. They may give severe kinds of adverse effects. The supplements which are known to cause adverse effects include kava, Yohimbe, comfrey, bitter orange, etc. avoid them to keep yourself safe from serious side effects.

To know the safety as well as the effectiveness of nutrition supplements, there is a criterion you can follow:

  • Check either your particular supplement is approved by FDA
  • Supplements are not violating the cGMP
  • The rank and popularity of a company making these supplements
  • If claims are valid and not over-exaggerated

Even though the majority of the nutrition supplements are safe to use but we will still recommend you to seek the help of a medical practitioner or a dietitian before consuming these supplements.

Amna Sheikh

Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics.  She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.
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