What Should I Consider When Buying Dietary Supplements?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Dietary supplements are one of the ways that many people seek to make sure they are getting proper nutrition each day. In some cases, the supplements are used to assist people on special diets that are designed to make weight loss easier. In other instances, the dietary supplements are utilized to provide nutrients that are difficult to obtain, due to a diet restricted by allergies or various health issues. Regardless of the reason behind taking a dietary supplement, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Dietary supplements.
Dietary supplements.

There are many people who have the idea that in the case of consuming dietary supplements, more is always better. Nothing could be further from the truth. While a nutritional supplement may be beneficial in limited doses, ingesting too much in any twenty-four hour period can prove to be toxic to the system. This is true with many different types of vitamins and minerals. Keeping the dosage within a safe margin helps to minimize the chances of experiencing an adverse and possibly life-threatening reaction to an overdose.

Along with quantity, there is also the need to consider the potential interaction of dietary supplements with over the counter and prescription medications. For example, herbs such as cayenne pepper contain capsicum, which can thin the blood in some people. If the individual is taking a medication that also thins the blood, daily doses of cayenne could lead to general weakness, as well as make it difficult for the blood to coagulate if the skin is cut. Before adding dietary supplements of any kind to the daily routine, it is important to know how they will interact with prescription medication that must be taken, and be sure there will not be any negative consequences.

It is also important to consider the potential for a negative interaction between particular dietary supplements. For example, taking a multivitamin containing high doses of different vitamins and minerals could make it unwise to also use herbs that are loaded with similar non-soluble nutrients. The end result could be consuming a toxic amount of some nutrient that is stored in the body and used incrementally. Instead of supporting a healthy body and mind, the combination can exacerbate existing health issues or even creates new ones.

Before beginning any regimen involving dietary supplements, it is important to evaluate the daily diet along with the current status of your health. In order to accomplish this effectively, consulting a healthcare professional is a must. Taking the time to get a firm grasp on your current dietary needs allows you to choose dietary supplements that will complement the foods and any medications you currently take, and assist you in living a healthier lifestyle.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

davis22

Recent studies have suggested that most Americans do not get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D aids in the body's weight management functions. Growing obesity rates, especially among the younger generations, are believed to have a direct link with widespread vitamin D deficiency. This makes sense too, as kids today are spending less time outside (sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D) and are eating less leafy greens (a significant source of the vitamin).

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