Nutritional supplements can be beneficial for some people, but whether or not you need them depends on your individual nutritional needs. In general, it’s best to get the nutrients you need from a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. However, there are certain situations in which supplements may be helpful.
Some examples of when supplements may be needed include:
- When an individual has a dietary restriction: For example, if a person is vegetarian, they might not get enough vitamin B12, which is found primarily in animal products. In such cases, taking a B12 supplement might be recommended.
- When a person is pregnant: During pregnancy, a woman needs more of certain nutrients, such as folic acid and iron, to support the growth and development of her baby. A prenatal vitamin can help fill any gaps in her diet.
- When an individual has a medical condition: Some medical conditions can affect a person’s ability to absorb or process certain nutrients. For example, people with celiac disease may have trouble absorbing enough iron from their food, and may need to take an iron supplement.
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It’s important to keep in mind that taking supplements is not a substitute for a healthy diet. It’s always best to try to get the nutrients you need from food first and then use supplements to fill any gaps. If you’re considering taking a supplement, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to see if it’s appropriate for you and to understand the right dosage.
Also, some people may take more than recommended doses of certain nutrients and in certain cases, it may lead to toxicity or interaction with other medications.
It is also essential to note that there is a wide variety of Nutritional supplements with varying potency, purity, and manufacturing standards, which could make a difference in effectiveness.
According to the World Food Organization …
… as dietary supplements, we consider the additional substances we take to ensure the smooth functioning of our body, when it is disturbed or when we want to prevent any possible disturbance.
It should be noted that almost all natural supplements contain substances that are alone or are intermediate products of biochemical processes in the human body, unlike what happens with the vast majority of drugs.
This is why nutritional supplements are considered much safer than drugs. The proof is, that the World Health Organization has established stringent, costly, and lengthy procedures to give authorization to a drug, while the supplements are classified as food, for which the procedures are much simpler.
Many diseases are caused by a deficiency of vitamins, trace elements, or antioxidants. For example, zinc deficiency caused approximately 30 mental and physical illnesses such as mental disturbance, photophobia, nerve anorexia or excessive appetite, abnormalities in taste and smell, various skin diseases, ulcers, delayed development, sexual immaturity, weakening of the immune system, and others.
While the adequacy of another trace element, selenium, among others, strengthens the immune system, protects us from infections, caligo lentils (cascade), premature aging, and more. Last confirmed that it is also very effective in the prevention of cancer.
Deficiencies of vitamins or trace elements can be caused by various causes and even medicines. For example, tetracycline, a known antibiotic, prevents the absorption of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron and blocks the concentration of vitamin B. Contraceptives reduce the water-soluble vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. Antacids prevent especially calcium absorption and the abuse of alcohol reduces the absorption of several dignitaries.
Also, it is undisputed that most elderly people, even those not suffering from any disease, need dietary supplements because of their inability to assimilate the nutrients in foods.
The World Health Organization assures us that the diet of thousands of people, even in economically thriving communities, has a lack of vitamins and minerals. Indicative of this finding is that 75% of U.S. citizens, either occasionally or permanently, take nutritional supplements.