A comprehensive overview of supplements and their medical use is essential for understanding which ones are scientifically proven to be beneficial. Science has demonstrated that chronic low-grade inflammation can become a silent killer, and supplements can help reduce this risk. Creatine is a popular supplement among fitness enthusiasts, as it helps cells produce energy, which in turn helps build more muscle. While the body produces its own creatine, it is hard to get as much from food as from a supplement.
Garlic is another supplement that has been studied for its potential benefits. While it is commonly believed to boost the immune system and help prevent illness, the research is not clear. However, garlic has been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and taking it can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and modestly improve the quality of sleep.
Manipulating the levels of melatonin in your body without taking a supplement is also possible. Camping can reset your circadian rhythm by forcing you to avoid the blue part of the visible light spectrum at night and then forcing you to see that light in the morning. You can approach this effect at home by avoiding excess light from the television, computer and smartphone at night. Multivitamins don't make much sense for most people, but sometimes it's a good idea to take individual nutrients.
Zinc is interesting because it is abundant in diets that include beef and fortified cereals, but it is low in some diets or disease states. For example, lower levels of zinc become more common when people are insulin resistant or have type 2 diabetes. Vegans should consider taking Vitamin B12 supplements. In addition to zinc, magnesium levels tend to be low in people with type 2 diabetes, and supplements may help.For comprehensive and reliable information on supplements, consider becoming an Examine Plus member.
It allows you to access decades of research on more than 400 supplements with more than 5000 human studies. Information is Beautiful, a data visualization website, has an interactive interface that shows supplements plotted based on the strength of evidence indicating that they are beneficial.The Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act restricts the FDA's ability to regulate products that are marketed as dietary supplements, even though most people buy them for health reasons, not nutrition reasons. However, there are a handful of vitamins and supplements that studies suggest may be worth taking for people with specific conditions.Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are the best sources of fiber, but many people need supplements to achieve these goals. Vitamin C may not do anything to prevent or treat the common cold, but zinc may be worth taking for this purpose.
For people with cardiovascular disease who don't eat fish regularly, taking a fish oil supplement is reasonable.In conclusion, while there are many vitamins and supplements on the market that claim to be beneficial, it is important to understand which ones are actually worth our hard-earned money. By randomly deciding which participants took the supplement and which did not, and by strictly controlling other variables (thus eliminating confounding factors), researchers can determine which supplements are scientifically proven to be beneficial.