Health & Wellness

The Truth about Health Supplements: 6 Things You Must Know

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Aaron Smith is a writer, copy strategist, and consultant who works with several companies and non-profits. He covers developments in various industries, ranging from health and technology, and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and spending time with his three pups: Buddy, Roxy, and Kaya.

Do you want to take a proactive approach to your health and add supplements to your diet? That can be an excellent idea! That is if you know some fundamental facts about supplements.

It’s not the 1940s anymore—when supplements entered the market, and people ran to their local pharmacies to get their hands on the latest magic pills. We know much more about dietary supplements and their effects on our health.

You must also learn the truth about supplements to get the most out of them. Today, we will uncover six truths to help you choose your next supplement wisely.

Supplements Are Necessary for Many People

Taking supplements is not always optional. Many individuals rely on them to get through their day-to-day lives. You may belong to this group if you don’t receive enough micronutrients through your diet. 

Maybe you’re vegan or follow a gluten-free or another restrictive diet. In this case, the right vitamins and supplements can give you the necessary nutrients to function at your best. You might still need supplements even if you follow a regular diet and eat colorful fruits and vegetables daily. 

The reason boils down to the altered nature of the produce we consume today. Due to bad farming practices and environmental issues, today’s fruits and vegetables may not contain enough nutrients to help you meet your dietary requirements.

Supplements Can Improve Different Aspects of Your Health

The right supplements have the potential to improve different aspects of your health. For instance:

You can turn to vitamins for these and many more health benefits.

Supplements Are Not Always Safe

woman wearing orange coat beside woman wearing black leggings

Supplements are not safe for everyone, especially those who take prescription medications. They may interact with these drugs and cause dangerous side effects.

For instance:

If you are taking medications, you must consult your doctor before you add in any supplements to your diet to avoid unwanted side effects.

Related: What Is Lion’s Mane and a Few of Our Favorite Supplements

Supplements Are Not Strictly Regulated

Syringes with different chemicals injections into a red apple on an orange background.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements as strictly as other drugs like prescription medications. For this reason, many of the supplements you see on the market may contain harmful ingredients.

Some won’t even list all their ingredients on the labels. If you don’t research well and inadvertently buy supplements from an unreliable brand, you may do more harm than good to your body.

This was the case in a recent study that analyzed 57 sports supplements from different manufacturers. The researchers in this study found that:

  • 89% of labels did not accurately list all the ingredients
  • 12% of supplements contained ingredients prohibited by the FDA

Too Much of Some Minerals and Vitamins Can Be Bad

Just because supplements contain essential nutrients, it doesn’t mean too much of them is better for your health. The opposite is true. Consuming too much of certain minerals and vitamins can affect your health negatively.

For instance:

  • Too much vitamin B6 in the blood can lead to nerve damage
  • Excessive vitamin C intake can cause diarrhea, nausea, and cramps
  • Too much vitamin A can lead to birth defects, liver, bone, and skin diseases
  • Having high doses of folate in your body can mask vitamin B12 deficiencies
  • Excess iron in the blood can cause gastrointestinal problems and severe toxicity
  • Excessive vitamin levels can interfere with medical tests by providing a false result
  • Higher-than-recommended doses of fluoride can lead to teeth staining and weakness
  • Taking high doses of supplements containing fat or water-soluble vitamins can be toxic

These are only some instances of how excessive supplement intake can impact your health. As with everything else in life, moderation is key.

You Won’t Urinate Vitamins

One of the myths about supplements is that you will urinate all the minerals and vitamins you take. That’s not true. 

While you might excrete some excess water-soluble vitamins and others might turn your pee more yellow, it doesn’t mean you urinate everything you take. You need a certain amount of nutrients in your body. So, you will retain most of what you receive from supplements. 

The crucial factor here is the reason why you take supplements. Is it because you don’t eat vegetables and want to receive vitamins from other sources? Or are you taking supplements because your friend has added them to their diet?

Determine your intent with the help of your doctor and take supplements for the right reason. This way, you will retain the nutrients and nourish your body with the nutrients it needs to survive.

Don’t Replace a Healthy Diet With Supplements

Healthy salad bowl with lots of fresh veggies

Don’t turn to supplements in hopes of replacing a healthy diet. Supplements are just what the name suggests. They can only fill some nutritional gaps and offer benefits for specific conditions and situations. 

For instance, folic acid supplements may reduce the risk of birth defects in pregnant women, or vitamin D3 supplements may help prevent osteoporosis. However, they can’t be a replacement for a well-balanced diet.

If you want to live a healthy life, eat nutritious meals, have an exercise routine, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep. After taking all these steps, add supplements to your routine to give your health a helping hand.

Choose the Best Supplements With the Help of Your Doctor

Are you ready to add supplements to your diet? Consult your doctor and choose the best supplements for your health needs. 

Only buy from trusted brands and be aware of those that make unrealistic claims. Choose your supplements wisely to live your best life and become the healthiest version of yourself.

Guest Contributor

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