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5 Things You Should Know About Dietary Supplements

Millions of Americans take vitamin supplements every day. Whether you’re trying to combat a vitamin deficiency or strengthen your immune system, it can be hard to know which supplements are right for you.

Here are 5 things you should know about dietary supplements:

1- Supplements come in many forms

Whether they’re in the form of a pill, powder, or liquid, the goal of dietary supplements is the same. They contain at least one dietary ingredient like vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, or enzymes.

2 - Supplements aren’t always safe

In most cases, multivitamins are unlikely to pose any health risks. But, it’s important to be cautious when putting anything in your body. Supplements can interact with other medications or pose risks if you have certain medical conditions. Some supplements that may pose risks include:

  • Vitamin K, which can reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners

  • Gingko, which can increase blood thinning

  • Herbal supplements comfrey and kava, which can damage the liver

  • Beta-carotene and vitamin A, which can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers

3 - Some are effective, while others are not

Common supplements that can benefit your health include:

  • Vitamin B12

  • Folic acid

  • Vitamin D

  • Calcium

  • Vitamins C and E

  • Fish Oil

  • Vitamin A

  • Zinc

  • Melatonin

Along with a healthy diet, you can see benefits from these vitamins. However, despite the amount of research that’s been done on supplements (since 1999, the National Institutes of Health has spent more than $2.4 billion studying vitamins and minerals), scientific evidence isn’t completely clear. Not all supplements can be effective or beneficial for everyone.

4 - Nothing can beat the nutrient power of a healthy diet

It’s important to remember that supplements aren’t a replacement for a nutrient-rich diet. They are meant to be supplementary to a healthy diet. Vitamins and minerals are essential to keeping your body healthy & functioning as it should.

5 - Speak with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements

Your first step to supplements should be discussing them with your healthcare provider. Each supplement’s effectiveness and safety can depend on your individual health. Keep these things in mind as you choose your supplements:

  • Take them as directed according to the labels and your healthcare provider’s instructions.

  • Remember that the term “natural” doesn’t always equal “safe”.

  • Keep supplements stored properly and away from children.

If you’re in need of a primary care provider, contact Advanced HealthCare!

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