It is estimated that around half of the USA population intakes dietary supplement in different forms both casually and regularly. Even children are getting used to it with a hope in mind to fulfill the shortfalls nutritional values in their regular diet.
According to the definition of FDA, ingredients that are intake by mouth in the form of pills, tablets, capsules, gummies, powder or liquid containing vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanical, amino acids, enzymes fall under the umbrella of dietary supplement.
Vitamins D and B12; minerals like calcium and iron; herbs such as echinacea and garlic; and products like glucosamine, probiotics, and fish oils are the most widely intake dietary supplements in the USA.
Why you need a Dietary Supplement?
It’s natural for the human being to torn with deficiency of one or more essential nutrients in its body. This deficiency can reach a much higher level or may evolve later as he or she gets older.
Our lifestyle, types of work that we do and working environment, heredity or accidents if any also plays a key role to induce us to take dietary supplements either or not prescribed by a doctor. This necessity is much higher for those involved in sports or any other activities requiring a high level of physical strength and endures physical stress.
We take dietary supplements with the hope to fulfill this deficiency that either we already have or fearing to encounter shortly or soon.
Here are some examples of dietary supplement that can help us:
• Calcium and vitamin D help us to keep our bones strong and reduce bone loss in older age.
• The intake of Folic acid by moms decreases the risk of birth defects in their baby.
• Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils might help you to prevent heart disease.
• AREDS-a combination of vitamins like C and E; minerals like zinc, copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin may deter the vision loss of the people suffering from Macular Degeneration related to age.
How to know the details of Dietary Supplement that you are purchasing?
There are lots of brands of dietary supplement in the market each claiming to serve several purposes, but which one you should choose? The answer depends a lot on your health condition, advice from your doctor and your previous experience and personal choice.
The flow of information online, media, labels and advertisements posted on the package of dietary supplements itself provides us valuable guidance in this regard. But you need not trust all at first sight. There are lots of rumors and false claims made by the manufacturers and traders of these supplementary diets.
First of all, these are auxiliary diet, not the mainstream of foods and you can still manage to survive without these. To find out the right combination of diet there are Dietary Guidelines for Americans and ChooseMyPlate are for you, which can also help you to pick up safe and healthy dietary supplements.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines the effectiveness and safety standards of the dietary supplement after being launched into the market, not before they are available for sale.
So there are flaws regarding scientific proof of the claims made the manufacturers and marketers of dietary supplements meaning you need not get excited with their flashy advertisements at the very beginning.
Side effects of dietary supplement-
Dietary supplement may contain active ingredients that can have long-lasting effects on your body. It is wise to remain alert and get in touch with the doctors for any unexpected side effects, especially while taking any newly launched product.
Dietary supplements may push you into an uneasy situation if you take them at higher than prescribed doses or choose the wrong one, or if you have taken more than one at a time.
Here are a few examples of the worst possible outcomes that you may suffer by taking dietary supplements containing the following nutrients:
• Vitamin K can prevent the blood from clotting by making it thinner.
• St. John’s-wort can accelerate the split of many medicines and thereby reducing their effectiveness.
• Supplementary diets containing vitamins C and E taken by the cancer patients to have the antioxidant might reduce the effectiveness of the chemotherapy.
The hidden risks of dietary supplement-
Unfortunately, most of us remain ignorant about the severity of the side effects and underlying risks of dietary supplements. Here are a few factors that act for the Risks of dietary supplements:
1. Don’t believe in- ‘The more, the better’
It may tempt the consumers to have more vitamin capsules or tablets for gaining extra strength without having any necessity at all. If you continue to take more and more multivitamins for day after day exceeding the acceptable limit, then your body can adversely react.
Such as too much consuming too much vitamin A may cause headaches and liver problems, weaken the bones and even birth defects. Excessive iron intake causes vomiting and damage to vital organs. Excessive intake of dietary supplements might be much more fatal in the case of the child, patients suffering from other severe diseases.
2. Is it approved by the FDA or any other competent bodies?
Food and Drug Authority(FDA) has its policy of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) that each manufacturer of dietary supplements must follow to help consumers to know the details of their product.
The FDA inspects its manufacturing facilities on a regular interval. Several other authorized organizations make quality testing and allow the manufacturers to mark the seal of quality assurance that indicates samples of this type of product have duly passed the tests and the claims made in its publicity are reliable.
These organizations are
A. U.S. Pharmacopeia
C. NSF International
3. Don’t get tempted while seeing the word “Natural” on the labels.
There’s no reason to believe that the product claims to be ‘Natural’ would serve your purpose without reacting. Because still there is a possibility for the presence of hidden chemical ingredients in so-called ‘Natural’ dietary supplements, which can cause other serious health problems.
Highlighting the word ‘Natural’ on the product package is a marketing technique used by scammers who want to boost up their sales.