Lack of sufficient nutrients in your diet can lead to a deficiency that can impact the body’s growth processes. Supplementation involves adding nutrients to a product to improve its nutritional value. It can also be used to enhance its texture and flavor.
Dietary supplements contain nutrients and other substances that replace missing nutrients in the body. They can be taken in small doses and come in different forms, including capsules, powder, or liquid. In this discussion, we share valuable information about the importance of supplements, variations, risks, and benefits. Keep reading;
What Is Supplementation?
As noted, supplementation is adding something extra to a product. According to research, at least 77% of U.S. citizens take one supplement every day, and on the whole, individuals, old or young, spend up to $30.2 billion on supplements every year. That’s more than two-thirds of the population which shows that people appreciate the fact that supplements play a vital role in the human body.
The FDA regulates supplement products and their ingredients as a diet but not as medication under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. This legislation was crafted to ensure that supplements are safe for human consumption, meet health needs, and their labels accurately reflect their contents.
Under the act, the FDA has several requirements that manufacturers must follow to market and sell their products. Before taking a supplement, it’s crucial to adhere to the following;
- Only take the recommended consumption dosage every day
- Check on the label to know the ingredients and their quantities.
- Check for other contents such as binders, flavors, and filler products.
- Keep the supplements away from young children.
Variations Of Supplements
Dietary supplements are available in various forms, each designed to meet different needs. For instance, powders, capsules, and gummies are targeted at individuals who have trouble swallowing pills, especially kids. On the other hand, energy bars and drinks are popular with athletes or individuals with active lifestyles.
No matter the variation, dietary supplements are meant to improve your health by providing nutrients your body needs but not getting enough from your diet. Whereas some individuals take them daily, others only use the supplements when they need an extra boost of essential nutrients.
Importance of Supplementation
Currently, there are many types of supplements on the market, including calcium, fish oils, iron, probiotics, magnesium, vitamin D, green tea, vitamin B12, and nitric oxide. However, when choosing, it’s essential to pay attention to the health benefits of each product. Also, ensure the product you choose has extensive scientific evidence to back up the health benefits.
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- Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil supplements contain omega-3, which provides multiple health benefits to the body, including stroke and heart disease prevention. Research shows they also help reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function.
Iron helps to prevent anemia and transport oxygen in the blood. Further, it plays a vital role in cell development. Iron supplements are mostly prescribed to young children, adolescents, people with certain health conditions, and pregnant women.
Probiotics support gut health by restoring the balance of bacteria disrupted by antibiotic treatment and infection. They also help improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and reduce inflammation.
Magnesium is involved in multiple biochemical reactions in the body, including muscle contraction, energy production, blood sugar control, and nerve function. It also supports bone health and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth. A lack of vitamin D can lead to health complications like weak bones and rickets. In adults, it can lead to an increased risk of falls, fractures, and muscle weakness.
- Green Tea
Green tea has powerful antioxidant benefits and has also been shown to improve cognitive function, aid in weight loss, and boost heart health.
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential for nervous system health. Lack of vitamin B12 can lead to nerve damage, anemia, and fatigue.
- Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide supplements aid in regulating blood pressure, stabilizing blood flow, protecting against inflammation, and ensuring the immune system is functioning properly. Whereas there are non-conclusive studies on the effectiveness of nitric oxide in improving athlete performance, research shows that it can alleviate muscle soreness and speed up post-workout recovery.
Risk of Supplementation
Despite numerous studies on supplements, scientific evidence of their importance has yet to be definitive. As such, companies may not make claims that supplementation can diagnose, treat or prevent diseases. Also, some products in the stores may lack more accurate information on the effectiveness of the supplements.
Even though multivitamins may not pose health risks, it’s vital to be careful before starting any supplement regimen. While the ingredients are available on the label, some products may have additional content which could be unsafe for users. If you are on medication, some supplements may interfere with the effectiveness of your prescription.
By knowing the potential risks associated with supplementation, you can make an informed decision on whether it’s the right thing to do.
It would help if you talked to your doctor to ensure you’re not doing anything that may harm your health. Also, prior consultation can offer guidance on the appropriate supplements depending on your medical history. Finally, supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet, and even though you can take them alongside other meals, they may deliver little nutritional benefits compared to a healthy diet. Therefore, you should focus on eating fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and less processed food to improve your health.