The first step to understanding whether dietary supplements are good for our health is to understand what they are. Without a sound understanding of it, we will continue to be forced to blindly follow the doctor's instructions.
If we consider the literal meaning, then dietary supplementation refers to any capsule, tablet, pill, chewable, or syrups that contain a dietary element.
There are many amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. that could be involved. It can even be consumed as a nutritional bar.
It is important to note that dietary supplements must be ingested through the mouth only. Otherwise, it may not qualify as a dietary supplement.
A dietary supplement that comes in the form of a nasal spray, cream, lotion, etc., is not a dietary supplement at all, but a drug.
Dietary Supplements Types
Supplements provide nutrients to our bodies. But what exactly are these nutrients?
To answer such questions, we need to inform you that they come from a variety of sources. Here are a few things to consider:
Synthetic: Dietary supplements of this kind are those that are created artificially.
Partially synthetic: These supplements contain nutrients derived from plants, inorganic matter, animal tissues, etc. Afterwards, it is chemically modified to meet certain requirements or to enhance its effectiveness.
Natural: These supplements are made using nutrients extracted from plants, animals, and animal tissues. Inorganic materials, such as rocks and seawater, may also be used to extract them.
Benefits of Dietary Supplements
In addition to providing health benefits to the human body, dietary supplements do the following:
These two pros are indeed quite significant.
Vitamins E and C (antioxidants) can reduce the toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs, for instance. Some serious medical conditions, such as hypertension, anaemia, etc., can also be prevented by taking adequate amounts of nutrients.
Cons of Dietary Supplements
There are no cons to dietary supplements, as long as they are consumed according to prescription. Nevertheless, heavy doses may cause you some problems.
It is possible to suffer irreversible nerve damage from prolonged and heavy consumption of vitamin B6, for example. Similarly, diarrhea may occur if you consume a large amount of Vitamin C suddenly.
It is also possible to experience an inappropriate drug interaction if a person is taking different medications at the same time. This results in the development of new issues. Suppose you take acne medications. Then you begin taking Vitamin A tablets as well. As a result of this chemical reaction, Vitamin A toxicity will increase in your body.
Can we say that it is good or bad?
Whether dietary supplements are good for you or bad depends on how you consume them. All is well as long as you take them according to prescription (provided you told your doctor you weren't on any other medications)!