Should You Take Dietary Supplements?

Taking dietary supplements, either for weight management or sports performance, or just to supplement what you get from food alone is very popular. But how would you know what you need? How do you choose the dietary supplements that are right for you? According to the Mayo Clinic there are a few questions you should ask yourself in order to take the necessary precautions. Depending on you age, diet and known health issues, not all dietary supplements are good for you.

Types of Dietary Supplements

The Council for Responsible Nutrition, or CRN, has determined the most 4 most popular categories. Such as medications, they are regulated by the FDA

  • Vitamins and Minerals. (Representing 98% all all vitamins taken) including multivitamins, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B and B complex and calcium
  • Specialty supplements: Fiber, probiotics, COQ10 and Omega 3 fatty acids (Fish oil), melatonin, digestive enzymes and glucosamine/chondroitin.
  • Herbals and botanicals. The most popular are garlic, cranberry, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, echinacea and green tea.
  • Sports Nutrition and Weight Management: Proteins, energy drinks,hydration drinks and gels, green coffee, Garcinia Cambogia, creatine and amino acids.

Who Takes Dietary Supplements?

All generations alike have heard the message and men and women from baby boomers to Generation Y, are taking dietary supplements. They eat healthy or try to eat a balanced diet, visit their doctor regularly and exercise regularly.

The reason being overall well being, filling nutrient deficiencies, improving energy level and immune system as well as bone and heart health. We do know that unless we eat mostly organic products, it is difficult to get all the healthy nutrients our body needs to be at its highest capacity.

How to Determine Which are Right for You?

Before you start taking any dietary supplement, it’s always best to ask a professional for guidance. Depending on your specifics, such as your age, your goal, your health history etc… your doctor or even pharmacist should give you some precious advice. They can guide you to certain specific supplements that are good for you and that are easy to find OTC. You can also ask around or talk to a friend.

There is information out there to help you determine what is a fad and what is really in your best interest. Once you have defined your goal, do your homework and ask for advice. Keep in mind that some can be harmful if taken under the wrong circumstances or can interact with other medications. In any case your doctor will always explain the pros and cons and help you in your choice.

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