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Using Dietary Supplements Wisely
Using Dietary Supplements Wisely
From：U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health : Using Dietary Supplements Wisely
Dietary supplements have become incredibly prevalent in recent years, with many people using them for various wellness reasons. These supplements come in various forms, including vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other substances that are intended to supplement the diet and provide additional nutrients or health benefits.
While some scientific evidence supports the use of certain dietary supplements, such as melatonin for improving sleep quality or vitamin D for bone health, the amount and quality of research vary widely. Some supplements, such as ginkgo for dementia, have little or no benefit according to most studies.
It is important to note that the supplements you buy from stores or online may differ in important ways from products tested in studies. The purity, potency, and composition of supplements can vary widely depending on the manufacturer, which can affect their safety and effectiveness.
One common misconception is that taking multivitamins can result in living longer, slowing cognitive decline, or lowering the chance of getting cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. Most research shows that this is not the case, and that taking high doses of some vitamins and minerals can actually be harmful.
Furthermore, taking certain dietary supplements may pose risks if you have certain medical problems, are going to have surgery, or if you are pregnant, nursing, or a child. For example, some supplements can interact with prescription medications, making them less effective or causing dangerous side effects.
It is crucial to understand that federal regulations for manufacturing and distributing dietary supplements are less strict than those for prescription or over-the-counter drugs. While manufacturers are responsible for ensuring product labels are truthful and not misleading, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not authorized to review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. The FDA can only take action against adulterated or misbranded dietary supplements after the product is on the market.
When considering taking a dietary supplement, it is essential to do your research and talk to your healthcare provider about any potential risks or interactions with other medications you may be taking. Your doctor can also help you determine which supplements may be beneficial for you and your specific health needs.
It is important to follow the instructions on the supplement label carefully, as taking more than the recommended dose can be harmful or cause adverse effects. If you experience any side effects or adverse reactions, stop taking the supplement immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
Finally, it is vital to take charge of your health by making well-informed decisions with your healthcare providers regarding any complementary health approaches you use. By working together, you can ensure that you are taking the most effective and safe approach to improving your health and wellbeing.
In summary, while dietary supplements can offer potential health benefits, it is essential to approach them with caution. Be sure to do your research, talk to your doctor, and follow the instructions carefully to ensure you are taking the most effective and safe approach to enhancing your overall health and wellness.
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