Americans spend billions of dollars on dietary supplements yearly, but are they worth it? In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at nutritional supplements and explore the pros and cons to help you decide whether they're suitable for you.
What Are Dietary Supplements?
Dietary supplements are products that are intended to supplement the diet. They can be made from herbs, minerals, amino acids, and other substances. They come in many forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids.
Some people take dietary supplements because they believe they have health benefits, but there is often little scientific evidence to support these claims. Additionally, supplement manufacturers are not required to get FDA approval before selling their products, which means that the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements can vary greatly.
Pros of Dietary Supplements
There are a few potential benefits associated with taking dietary supplements, including:
- They may help fill nutrient gaps in your diet. If you're not getting enough of certain nutrients from foods, a supplement may help you meet your needs.
- They may improve overall health. Some supplements contain antioxidant nutrients that may help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
- They may boost energy levels. Some people take dietary supplements like iron to help improve energy levels.
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Cons of Dietary Supplements
While some potential benefits are associated with taking dietary supplements, there are also some risks to consider. These include:
- As we mentioned earlier, before selling them to consumers, dietary supplements do not need FDA approval.
- The FDA may not regulate them. This means that there is no guarantee that they are safe or effective.
- Dietary supplements can interact with other medicines you're taking, which could cause serious side effects.-They may interact with other medications you're taking. Be sure to speak with your doctor before taking any nutritional supplements if you're currently taking medication.
- You may not need them. If you're eating a balanced diet and getting enough of the critical nutrients your body needs from food, there's no need to take a supplement – unless your doctor has recommended one for a specific reason.
If you're considering taking a dietary supplement, it's essential to do your research and speak with your doctor first to make an informed decision about whether or not it's right for you. There are both potential risks and benefits associated with taking dietary supplements, so weighing all factors before deciding whether to take them is essential.