Are dietary supplements safe for human consumption advice, Health food, eating

Are Dietary Supplements Safe For Human Consumption

3 January 2024

Over the past years, there has been a rise in the number of dietary supplement producers in the market. This has made it almost impossible to differentiate and identify authentic nutritional supplements.

Are dietary supplements safe for human consumption

In most countries, residents are advised to avoid intake of these supplements as they are advertised as dietary supplements, yet they have illegal additives. In a world where health is of great importance, these supplements have become a topic of discussion regarding their significance and drawbacks. Can supplements really replace the nutrients in food? This has become a topic with a wide range of views and opinions. Let’s explore the advantages and drawbacks of these dietary supplements.

What exactly are dietary supplements

Dietary supplements are a definitive word for a wide variety of products like minerals, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, herbs, botanicals, and enzymes.Nutritional supplements can be consumed in different forms, such as pills, tablets, capsules, or liquids. Over the years, the demand for dietary supplements has increased as there has been a surge in consumer interest due to perceived health benefits or recommendations from friends or relatives.

As the name suggests, dietary supplements enhance the benefit of absorbing nutrients in our diets. They are not substitutes for a well-balanced diet. Different supplements are tailored towards different objectives. An example is Creatine and omega 3. It is tailored towards enhancing muscle growth and recovery, while Omega 3 supplements are for preventing diseases.

Advantages of dietary supplements.

  1. Filling in dietary gaps

Dietary supplements offer a practical way to fill in the nutritional gaps. It provides busy parents or professionals an effective way to address nutrient deficiencies that may otherwise impact their health. They also offer a way for personalized healthcare that is custom-formulated to meet individual needs. Modern meals are not curated to meet a balanced diet, and hence, there is a need to take dietary supplements to fill in the nutritional gap.

  1. Disease prevention and management.

No matter how balanced your meal is, there will always be a nutrient that is missing. For example, Vitamin D is available in very few foods but is necessary for strong bones and calcium absorption. Hence, it is essential to take vitamin D supplements to prevent diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis. Another essential nutrient is omega3 fatty acid found in fish like tuna. Vegetarians may miss out on taking this nutrient, making it necessary to take omega-3 supplements. Omega3 is essential in preventing diseases like skin disorders, depression, anxiety, and asthma in small children.

  1. Increasing physical performance

Dietary supplements can also enhance aggression and physical performance during working out. They can be used to boost power and strength, which helps the body to accommodate high-intensity workouts. For example, people take protein shakes as a pre-workout supplement to help delay fatigue. At times, you might realize that food intake does not provide your body with enough nutrients to help in muscle building and recovery. You might opt for dietary supplements to fill the gap in such a case.

As mentioned before, dietary supplements have their drawbacks on consumption.

  1. They are inadequate nutrient substitutes.

One thing you should always keep in mind if you decide to consume supplements is that they are never a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet. Nothing beats the nutrients obtained from natural foods. Supplements are meant to supplement or enhance the benefits of eating a well-balanced diet. They should never be a diet replacement. Supplements are artificial; they are nutrients chemically generated in a company. Compared to nutrients from a diet, a pill of supplements can have adverse side effects like nausea and vomiting.

  1. They pose health risks upon consumption.

DMAA is an amphetamine derivative that was sold illegally and marketed as a dietary supplement. Athletes and bodybuilders consumed it as it enhances muscle growth and weight loss. The FDA banned the sale of DMAA as a clinical drug or a supplement. This is because its consumption puts the user at a risk of developing high blood pressure, leading to cardiovascular problems. This is an indication that people without medical knowledge might be at risk of developing health problems after consuming unsafe products sold in the name of dietary supplements.

It is important to remember that even though a supplement is labeled natural, it does not indicate that it is safe for consumption. Always consult with a medical practitioner about the benefits and drawbacks of any supplementary. Ensure that there are studies indicating that the supplementary is safe for human consumption. Even though a supplement may be safe for consumption, it may interact with other medications that you are taking and cause health complications.

  1. Unregulated quality of the supplements.

The supplement industry is largely unregulated, allowing the production of poor quality and unsafe supplements. The lack of strict quality control has led to the production of supplements containing impurities, substituted ingredients, and contaminants. The products are also released directly to the market without testing their safety upon consumption by all kinds of people. This poses both mild and severe health risks to the users.

  1. Excessive consumption

Supplements, just like drugs, should be consumed with a limit. Excessive consumption of supplements or overdosing can lead to significant health issues. It may also lead to an increase in the toxicity levels in your body. An example is taking too many calcium supplements, which may lead to stones or hypercalcemia. Taking supplements regularly may hinder your body from absorbing nutrients and maximizing them for the benefit of your body.

Supplements, especially bought over the counter, are unsafe for consumption. Greed for profits has led many dietary supplement producers to omit some unsafe ingredients when labeling the supplements. In other cases, producers have marketed illegal supplements as nutritional supplements; others contain prescription drugs within them. Some supplements have also not been tested on pregnant women, children, and nursing mothers but are labeled safe. Hence, it is essential to buy supplements with caution. Even herbal supplements such as comfrey and kava can damage your liver.

Always be cautious with what you decide to put into your body!

Comments on this guide to Are Dietary Supplements Safe For Human Consumption article are welcome

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