Health Benefits of Using Supplements

Dietary supplements are available in pill, powder or liquid form and come under many names, including vitamins, minerals and herbal products, known as botanicals. Many people take these products to make sure they’re getting enough essential nutrients. Others are hoping to improve their health or treat a specific illness. However, the evidence on which to base dietary supplement recommendations is often flawed, making it difficult for consumers to know whether these products will be effective or harmful. URL

Unlike prescription and over-the-counter medicines, most supplements aren’t tested for safety and effectiveness in children, pregnant women or those with certain health conditions. And many supplements can interfere with medications, especially blood thinners and antidepressants. Also, the fact that a product comes from “nature” doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. The herb comfrey, for example, can damage the liver; kava and St. John’s wort can interact with some types of antidepressants; and ginkgo biloba and vitamin K can increase bleeding risk.

Optimizing Your Health: A Deep Dive into the Top Benefits of Daily Supplements

The best way to meet your nutrient needs is with a balanced diet, and you should avoid taking more than the daily recommended allowance of any vitamin or mineral. In some cases, though, a physician or pharmacist may recommend supplements to help manage conditions such as arthritis, high cholesterol or diabetes.

Keep in mind that dietary supplements are just that — supplemental to a well-rounded, healthy diet. They should not be used as a replacement for a prescription drug or to meet your nutrient requirements for certain conditions or in place of a regular medical checkup.

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