What Are Supplements and How Can They Help You?

Supplements are products that are intended to supplement the diet. They come in pill, powder, or liquid form and are available without a prescription. The most common types of supplements are vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, also known as botanicals. People take these supplements to make sure they get enough essential nutrients and to maintain or improve their health.

It is important to note that dietary supplements are not medicines and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent or cure diseases. Most people don't need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need if they follow a healthy, balanced diet. However, cycling with supplements is an option for those who want to take them. This means taking a supplement for a certain amount of time and then having another set amount of free time. This could be a short time such as having a drink only from Monday to Friday and not on the weekends, or it could be several months followed by a few weeks of rest before starting again. Because people find it difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the fall and winter.

It is important to note that you're more likely to have side effects from dietary supplements if you take them in high doses or instead of prescription medications, or if you take many different supplements. If you're generally healthy and want to take supplements for your overall health, it is best to use a personalized multivitamin service such as Vous Vitamin, Baze or Persona Nutrition. Place the supplement bottles on the kitchen counter next to the coffee maker to refresh your memory when you pick up your morning cup. The federal government can take legal action against companies and websites that sell dietary supplements when companies make false or misleading claims about their products, if they promote them as treatments or cures for diseases, or if their products are not safe. It is also important to consult a doctor or dietitian about supplements for particular problems as they can interact dangerously with medications you're already taking and it is important to rule out any medical conditions that need to be treated with prescription medications. Some supplements may increase the risk of bleeding or, if taken before surgery, may change the response to anesthesia. Products sold as dietary supplements come with a supplement information label that includes the active ingredients, the amount per serving (dose) and other ingredients such as fillers, binders and flavors.

It is also important to be careful when giving supplements to a child unless recommended by your healthcare provider. A comprehensive dietary supplement with a nutrition facts label, an NSF certification, a USP verified brand and a GMP certification is the best of the best. Supplements can also help people with Crohn's disease or celiac disease, conditions that make it difficult to absorb certain nutrients. The Department of Health and Social Welfare recommends certain supplements for certain groups of people who are at risk of suffering from a deficiency. Finally, it is important to tell your healthcare providers (including doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and dietitians) about any dietary supplement you are taking.

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