Natural supplements are used in both alternative and traditional health care to solve a variety of ailments. A natural supplement is any substance taken to maintain or improve a person's health. These supplements can be found at most grocery stores, health food stores, supermarkets or specialty stores. They are also available via doctors, holistic health advisors and other medical practitioners.
The term “natural supplement” is something of a misnomer, implying that some or all of the product is natural. Only some dietary supplements are, in fact, all natural, with ingredients derived from plants and animals, harvested rather than created synthetically in a laboratory. Supplements are not regulated the same way pharmaceuticals are, meaning the ingredients in a natural supplement can come from just about anywhere. Nevertheless, supplements are popular products among the health conscious.
One type of natural supplement, the vitamin, is present in most households. Vitamin supplements may be made from natural ingredients or flavorings. They are used by many people the world over in the form of specific vitamins, like vitamin C, or as multivitamins that contain a number of vitamins essential for the human body to function.
Some people take natural supplements for specific reasons. A woman past menopause may seek a natural calcium supplement when commercially available synthetic supplements upset her stomach. Animal rights activists may seek out a natural vegetarian nutritional supplement to replace a supplement that utilizes gelatin, an animal product.
Nutrition supplements, such as vitamin B or folic acid, are other popular natural supplement types. These supplements are used to increase the appetite and are helpful for those suffering from an overactive thyroid or people undergoing chemotherapy whose bodies may not seek or process nutrients adequately.
In addition to supplying the nutrients we need, some natural supplements prepare our bodies for a goal or purpose. Dietary supplements are supplements used during the course of weight loss to help the body increase metabolism and get rid of fat. The term dietary supplement is also used to refer to supplements that fill in nutritional gaps and provide nutrients that some people do not get on a daily basis.
Speak with a licensed physician before taking a natural supplement. Supplements may interfere with some medications, and may lead to unintended side effects. If you are concerned about where the ingredients in a natural supplement come from and whether or not they really are natural, research the product before buying it.