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By Dr Srilatha
Dietician
Published on 08/08/2022

Nutritional intake through supplements!

Supplements are required when there is an imbalance in nutrients or absence of a particular nutrient.

Some dietary supplements can help you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients if you don't eat a nutritious variety of foods.

However, supplements cant take the place of the variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet.

Let's have clear knowledge about dietary supplements!

What are Dietary Supplements?

Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, gummies, and powders, as well as drinks and energy bars.

Popular supplements include vitamins D and B12, minerals like calcium and iron, multivitamins, multiminerals, carbohydrates, proteins, hormone activators, herbs, products like glucosamine, probiotics and fish oils.

Who needs supplements?

  • Patients suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Pregnant women
  • Pre and post menopausal women
  • Geriatric with deficiency

Common misconceptions about dietary supplements:

The fatty acids in many fish oil supplements are oxidized, reducing their nutritive value significantly?

Ideal way of getting omega 3 fatty acid is to eat fish

There are no proven benefits to taking megadoses of vitamin C?

Research has proven it does not shorten the life of a cold. You can get all the vitamin C you need from a piece of fruit or unsweetened juice.

Calcium found in food is more easily absorbed than the calcium in a pill and is less likely to cause kidney stones or other side effects.

Your body makes creatine from glycine, arginine, and methionine.
Eggs provide a massive amount of these amino acids so you don't need supplements.

Beware! Supplements may include contaminants that are banned in sport or other unhealthy ingredients.

Sports drinks are convenient for kids on the go and they may be appropriate for longer and/or higher intensity activities, but the flavorful drinks encourage young athletes to drink more sugar than necessary. A banana and plain water deliver a powerful punch for recovery.

Eating healthy fats will tip the balance toward a healthy cholesterol level, and will allow your body to balance your hormones naturally. In contrast, some hormone boosting supplements either contain ingredients that have not been shown to work or contain drugs that mimic the effects of hormones.

There is very little evidence backing the use of nitric oxide supplements?

Beet root,vegetables, fruits and tender coconut water (celery, carrots, and rhubarb) are rich in nitrates, which your body naturally converts to nitric oxide to help with blood flow and stamina. Freshness matters. Once you grind something up into a powder and store it on a shelf, benefits may be reduced.

How effective are supplements ?

Some dietary supplements can improve overall health and help manage some health conditions.

For example: Calcium and vitamin D help keep bones strong and reduce bone loss.

Folic acid decreases the risk of certain birth defects.

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils might help some people with heart disease.

A combination of vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin (known as AREDS) may slow down further vision loss in people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Many other supplements need more study to determine if they have value.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not determine whether dietary supplements are effective before they are marketed.

Are dietary supplements safe?

Many dietary supplements contain active ingredients that can have strong effects in the body. Always be alert to the possibility of a bad reaction, especially when taking a new product.

Be cautious about taking dietary supplements if you are pregnant or nursing.

Also, be careful about giving supplements to a child, unless recommended by their healthcare provider.

Many supplements have not been well tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children.

Supplements under medical supervision with recommended doses and duration is safe.

Consult the doctor if taking a supplement is suitable for you. Book an appointment with our expert doctors!

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