Advertising all over the internet and traditional media offer to get your healthier via “dietary supplements,” “vitamin minerals,” and “nutritional supplements.” Many ads say all you have to do is add these pills to your diet and all will be fixed with no side effects. However, many ask if they are healthy or if they are just a scam.
When you go to a doctor, they can prescribe you medications that help with an issue you are having. Any prescription that they write will be through rigorous testing by the food and drug administration before presented to the general public. However, most supplements have not been tested in the same way, so it can be hard to know what’s right and what’s not.
What is a Supplement?
If you’re taking something by mouth that contains something called a “dietary ingredient” you are taking a supplement. These ingredients include things like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, and more. They are used to help when you lack something in your diet. Sometimes this can be due to your food choices while other times it could be because you have a harder time processing something specific.
Is a Vitamin and Supplement the Same?
In short, a vitamin is a type of supplement. The most common type is the multi-vitamin, which claims to help prevent many health conditions like heart disease and blood pressure depending on the brand. However, types of supplements exist in the form of pills, liquids, energy bars, tablets, and more.
Should I Talk to My Doctor Before Taking Anything?
Yes! Your doctor knows your body better than you know yourself. Health care is their job, and as such, they will know what is best for you. There are certain health conditions and pills that could affect the dietary supplement product and harm you rather than helping you. It’s always best to talk to a doctor before starting a new health plan whether than be added pills, a new diet, or a new exercise program.
Are Supplements Safe?
Like many things in life, the supplement market isn’t always what it appears to be. Something that says “natural” doesn’t have to be wholesome and safe. Many supplements can be made from nutrients and products that are toxic. Sometimes when consumed in high amounts or over a long period. This is another time when your doctor can help you to find what’s best for you.
What If I Get a Side Effect?
If you notice something happening after you start to take dietary supplements, then stop and contact your doctor. They will go through the steps in determining if the pill is safe to continue or if you should stop taking it. If the side effect is not listed on the bottle, whether safe or harmful, then you should get in touch with the drug administration (FDA ) as soon as you can.
Does My Age or Sex Play a Role?
Yes, and you should always choose accordingly. For example, pediatric supplements are made for children with child-safe doses. Different age ranges and sexes will change what ingredients you need or can have.
There are different recommendations for women, men, pregnant women, people over fifty, and children under 15. Each of these recommendations changes the need for supplements. For example, amounts of like vitamin D, folic acid, and vitamin b12.