Dietary supplements can be found not only in pharmacies. You can also find them on the shelves of many supermarkets and drugstores. A legal distinction is made between food supplements and pharmaceuticals and food.
Nowadays, the range of dietary and antioxidants supplement is extremely varied. Thus, many consumers easily lose track of which preparations are really health-promoting and recommendable.
What is meant by dietary supplements?
The aim of dietary supplements is to supplement the diet in a nutrient-concentrated form. The products are offered in various dosage forms, such as powder, pills or capsules. The nutrients themselves must consist of vitamins and minerals. The minerals also include trace elements such as selenium and zinc.
The benefits of dietary supplements
Especially in special phases of life or under special circumstances, supplements can be a great way to effectively cover the daily need for nutrients. Of course, not all dietary supplements that are commercially available have a really great benefit. Decisive for whether a consumption makes sense, for example, is your own diet in everyday life. So there are some dietary supplements, especially for vegans, which they should not do without.
According to the current scientific status, the body cannot be supplied with vitamin B12 in sufficient quantities via a vegan diet, for example. Thus, people who live vegan should not do without the additional intake of vitamin B12.
However, vitamin B12 is by no means only recommended for vegans. This is one of the critical vitamins, especially for older people, since the concentration of vitamin B12 that can be absorbed into the bloodstream through food steadily decreases with advancing age. In addition, a vitamin B12 deficiency can also occur in people who suffer from a disease of the gastrointestinal system, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease or chronic gastritis.
The hormone-active vitamin D is also of great importance for a healthy life. This is also known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is not primarily ingested through food, but is synthesized in the skin when it comes into contact with UV-B radiation from sunlight. Especially in the winter months, it is therefore advisable to take supplements that ensure a healthy vitamin D level is maintained.
What are the disadvantages of dietary supplements?
Like other isolated substances, dietary supplements show a physiological effect. If these are dosed too high, negative effects can also be caused by taking them. Consumers should therefore always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
It should also be noted that, unlike in the field of pharmaceuticals, no safety and test procedures are required for food supplements. Taking it always harbors the potential risk of unwanted side effects.