Many people take supplements to build muscles, combat issues like vitamin deficiency, or lower the risk of certain diseases. Other supplements are designed to improve your health. However, there are different things you should know before you take them. With this in mind, below are 6 facts everyone should know about supplements.
1. Supplements Consist of Different Forms
Supplements come in different forms including powder, pill, and liquid. Dietary supplements have the same goal although they are available in different states. These dietary additives are available over the counter and do not require a prescription to get them.
2. Supplements are Effective
Supplements are popular because they provide positive results if used properly. On top of a healthy diet, supplements can improve your overall well-being. For instance, Vitamin D supplements strengthen bones, vitamin B12 improves nerve and blood cell health, and folic acid reduces birth defects. Athletes also can attest to certain supplements aiding their physical health. Taking creatine monohydrate supplements will help you add more muscle since these types of supplements are well known and appreciated in the fitness industry. You can add them to your diet for excellent results.
3. Supplements can Have Side Effects
While supplements are designed to improve health, they can pose health risks since they can interact with other medications. If you have special conditions like liver disease, you should be cautious because supplements can have side effects. Supplements have also not been tested for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. Other products may have unsafe ingredients that can impact your health.
4. Talk to Your Healthcare Provider First
While supplements are available over the counter, you should consult your healthcare provider first before you take them. Also, you may wish to perform a nutrient blood test to determine which supplements you may wish to take. The effectiveness and safety of supplements may depend on someone’s health and individual situation. Remember to read instructions and take supplements as instructed by the manufacturer. You must understand the ingredients and know that the word “natural” does not necessarily mean safe.
5. Maintain a Healthy Diet
While supplements are effective, they are not a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet. Whatever your goal is when taking supplements, you should always remember the significance of maintaining a good diet and physical activity. Never use supplements in place of food since they are only designed to boost your nutrients. Exercise is good for your overall health, and it should go together with supplements of your choice.
6. They are Regulated
Supplements are regulated, but not proven or tested through clinical trials. The supplement industry is broad, and it is believed that there are more than 90,000 types of supplements available on the market. Prescription medicines undergo rigorous tests to prove their efficacy and safety, but the same does not apply to supplements. No law compels supplement manufacturers to prove their safety before they hit the markets. Since supplements are not tested, consumers may not realise that supplements are not always safe.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients. The FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering ‘conventional’ foods and drug products. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA):
- Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded.
- That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labelling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as amended by DSHEA and FDA regulations.
- The FDA has the authority to take action against any adulterated or misbranded dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.