Nowadays it is buying various vitamins, minerals, supplements or phyto-nutrients and plant extracts is very common and rather popular practice among people. Whether there is a real need for their consumption or not, people very easily buy and use these supplements.
The fact is that some medical conditions require application of certain supplements, but a healthy person usually does not require use of any additives. Before you decide to reach for vitamins and minerals in the form of supplements, we suggest you read the text that follows.
What is the purpose of supplements?
Worldwide commonly are produced supplements of vitamins and supplements of minerals. But in recent years you can easily find numerous supplements of certain nutrients which are present in food, which are claimed to have the power to prevent or help in the treatment of certain diseases. The purpose of the vitamin and mineral supplements is to treat certain deficiency conditions commonly caused by health problems, to strengthen the immune system or prevent certain diseases. In case of anemia – postoperative condition occurs to blood loss or anemia caused by decreased iron absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, it is justified supplementation of iron and vitamin B complex, but unless there is a reason there is no need for the use of supplements.
Nutritional supplements cover a broad range of products including vitamins, minerals, herbs, meal supplements, sports nutrition products, natural food supplements, and other related products used to boost the nutritional content of the diet.
The marketplace supplies thousands of supplements claiming to provide nutritional support for athletes. Some of these are consisted of high-protein products, such as amino acid supplements, while other products contain nutrients that support metabolism, energy, athletic performance and recovery. Supplements can be found in pill, tablet, capsule, powder or liquid form.
Which supplements are commonly used?
Commonly used multivitamin and multi mineral supplements that contain all the vitamins and minerals required of daily quantities, but before you decide to use them on your own, consult your doctor or try to satisfy your needs through daily food.
If you have a deficiency of a certain vitamin or mineral, it is good to read and find out why vitamins and minerals are important for the body and which foods are rich in them:
- Vitamin A for proper growth, development and strong immunity
- Vitamin C for strong immunity and good health
- Vitamin E – Vitamin youth
- Vitamin D – the keeper of bone health
- Selenium is an important mineral for the 7 healthy needs
- Importance of iron for Health
- Potassium for healthy heart and energy
- Magnesium – for strong bones and strong muscles
- 7 health benefits of dietary zinc
- Calcium for strong and healthy bones.
What is the risk of inappropriate use of supplements?
First to highlight that it is important not only to consume vitamins and minerals for your body, but they need to be absorbed in order to be used. Some vitamins and minerals support each other absorption while some turn their hamper. Therefore if you enter a supplement with all the vitamins and minerals, it will be properly utilized. Vitamins and minerals that are found together with other substances facilitate their absorption and quicken the metabolism, so their isolated form can never be compared with the natural form.
The other thing that you need to look out for is that some vitamins and minerals can really have harmful effects if taken in large quantities, particularly if they are consumed for a long time. For example, an overdose of vitamin A can cause cardiovascular problems, may increase intracranial pressure and can increase the risk of respiratory infections. Some minerals such as selenium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and other trace minerals also are toxic in large quantities and can cause some very serious symptoms or disrupt the balance of other vitamins and minerals in the body.
Who can benefit from vitamin and mineral supplements?
In general, children and adults might benefit from taking one multivitamin per day. A multivitamin helps provide a consistent source of the necessary vitamins and micronutrients. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “a daily multivitamin, and maybe an extra vitamin D supplement, is a great way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy.”
However, the very first consideration is to eat a healthy diet. Even the best supplement is no substitute for good nutrition. In many Western countries, people tend to consume foods that are high in calories, but lack nutrients that are vital for good health.
Some groups of people, because of distinct nutritional needs, benefit most from taking a vitamin and mineral supplement:
- Women of childbearing age (need extra calcium and iron)
- Pregnant or lactating women
- Children and teenagers with irregular eating habits
- Vegetarians or vegans (may be deficient in key nutrients)
- Dieters or people avoiding certain food groups (may be deficient in key nutrients)
- People with eating disorders or medical conditions (deficiency diseases, absorption problems, lactose intolerance, etc.)
- People who often eat processed and fast food
Ensuring smart supplementation
The word “supplement” means something added. In this case, you’re “adding” to a basic healthy diet and lifestyle, or to a prescription medication or therapy to treat a medical condition. An herbal supplement or vitamin regimen on its own will not necessarily cure or treat your condition or heath problem. It’s also important to remember that not all supplements are beneficial, especially when taken in toxic doses or combined with other medications.
The media loves exciting headlines, so the moment a herb or vitamin is tentatively shown to be beneficial in some way, it is touted as the next miracle cure. Advertising can be misleading as well, promising us “totally safe”, “natural”, and “quick and effective” solutions to many health problems. You can keep yourself from falling prey to false promises by researching any product you are considering taking. Make sure there is good scientific research that supports the claims of the supplement’s marketers.
So, do not reach for vitamins and mineral supplements immediately, if you have no real need for it, but your source for these substances shall be the healthy food that offers a much larger complex of protective substances whose collective action cannot be compared with their actions in isolated form.
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