More than half of the American population takes some form of dietary supplements. These pills or powders can include vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. They are taken for a variety of reasons, often as a supplement to the nutrients and minerals that we obtain from food. They can help to improve immunity against disease, improve vision or change body shape.
Diet supplements can be bought over the Internet, at health food stores, from television shopping or from catalogs. People have used herbs for thousands of years as medication and to improve health. Like all medications, herbs have side effects. Natural herbs, vitamins and minerals can interact with prescription medicine. It is important to check with your doctor if you are considering taking some form of dietary supplement while on medication.
In 1994, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deregulated dietary supplements. This means that manufacturers are free to write any claim on the supplement label. They are prohibited from claiming that the diet supplement cures, treats or prevents disease. If the claims made on the packaging seem to good too be true, then beware; they probably are.
In many cases, diet supplements are a good source of extra vitamins and minerals our bodies need to survive. However, they should be taken in addition to the essential nutrients we gain from food, not instead of them. Diet supplements are a good way of increasing body size. Many body builders use dietary supplements to help them bulk up. They can achieve this by obtaining extra nutrients, such as proteins and carbohydrates, from their diet supplements, but they may also achieve this by consuming huge quantities of food.
There is evidence that many of the diet supplements we take are unnecessary. If you are a healthy person, eating the correct amount and type of food each day, there should be no need for diet supplements. Many people, such as vegetarians, pregnant women and people on a weight loss plan, may need the extra vitamins and minerals that diet supplements can provide, but you should always check with a doctor first.
In today’s fast food, consumer driven market, we want everything and we want it now. Diet supplements may aid in weight loss, weight gain and increased health, but there are no guarantees. Always read the ingredients on the packaging before buying, or you may find that the rush of adrenaline you feel after taking a pill may only be caused by a sudden intake of sugar to the blood.