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Are Dietary Supplements Needed? Benefits And Side Effects

We generally consume dietary supplement when we are not quite sure that our diet is capable of giving our body the nutrition it needs. Normally, these supplements can be found in powdered, pills or liquid form and can be taken once or twice in a day. But, the question that arises is that are dietary supplements needed. Popping the pill may give you the energy to face the day but does it have any risks that you are yet to be aware of. Let us read more to know about the benefits and side effects of taking a dietary supplement.

Benefits of dietary supplement

  • A dietary supplement is usually consumed when a person feels his nutrition needs are being compromised. To boost the nutritional value of your diet, you decide to take a pill every day. These supplements can range from Fish oil supplements to any of the vitamin ones. So, if you have been told that you are facing a deficiency in any of the vitamins, you can take a supplement to cover it up. It is a reality that you cannot be getting the perfect diet all the time to take a supplement to make up for the loss.
  • If you have been suffering from any chronic health ailment, you can take a nutritional supplement to ensure that its impact is reduced. However, this means that the intake of dietary supplements, in this case, should only be done when your doctor advises you to do that. He will probably go through all your symptoms to let you know which kind of supplement would work best.
  • Often, we suffer from immunity issues, and this leads us to fall ill on a regular basis. This applies to all those people who have a weakened immune system and would like to work on it. Supplements of vitamins can be the boost that you need, and your regular intake of the same would make sure that you keep all the diseases away from you.
  • On a daily basis our body repairs and maintains the tissues present in our body. If you are among those who have a highly active daily routine, then the exertion can take a toll on your body tissues and bones as well. To help you with the tissue maintenance and repair you can start taking nutritional supplements rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Not only that a regular intake of the same makes your muscles strong and gives you the strength to face the day.
  • If you are having weight issues and keeping it under control is a difficult task when there are supplements which increase your metabolism rate. This, in turn, makes it easy for you to burn your calories and get rid of the baggage that you have gained otherwise. However, those supplements which talk about rapid weight reduction should not be taken seriously.
  • A workout junkie needs the energy to keep his exercise routine maintained on a regular basis. Consuming energy supplements like drinks, bars,and carbohydrate nootropics can help you regain all the energy that you must likely lose when hitting the gym daily.
  • For pregnant or nursing moms the dietary supplements make up for the extra bit of nutrition that they require in the present condition. Especially if you are facing side effects and severe symptoms during pregnancy, it is better that you rely on these supplements to keep your body safe. Prenatal vitamins which have folic acid and iron match the gap and help you lead a healthy pregnancy.
  • After you have reached the age of 50, you may have to look for extreme methods to keep your nutrition levels intact. At this age, your body starts losing its energy, and if you are not quite careful, you may end up feeling wasted pretty often. To avoid that a nutritional supplement can cover up and give your body the energy it should have.
  • An analysis conducted on 3200 men and women and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease has proved that the intake of multivitamins improved the memory of quite a sizable proportion of people. Not only that they even contributed to increasing the alertness and overall well- being for an individual.
  • As a precaution, if you are prone to simple disease like the common cold, you can take supplements to ensure these diseases are taken care of. Supposing you are afflicted with common cold you can take Vitamin C to keep it under control. Similarly, Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant and can keep even heart diseases from impacting your body.

Risks and side effects of taking Dietary supplements

However, the above points do not mean that everything is smooth sailing for these supplements. There are considerable risks that a person taking these medicines may face and it is better that we are aware of them too.

  • Women who cross their 40’s consume Vitamin D supplements to keep the dreaded disease osteoporosis away. But the reality is quite harsh, as Vitamin D consumption at that age is not even required. It may be important to keep calcium levels high at an elder age though. For younger females, the calcium absorption can be increased leading to the formation of kidney stones something you would not want.
  • Supplements which have ingredients like ephedrine, Caffeine and gamma hydroxyl butyrate may increase your heart rate, lead to heat stroke and cause splitting headache. Ephedrine is usually a supplement which is sold as green energy and promoted for weight loss, but its harmful impact can cause you problems lasting a lifetime.
  • Ever since these supplements gained importance, most people are becoming addicted to them. However, not many people get to know that most of these supplements have the same ingredients which prescription medicines ought to have. This means that you may invariably face the same risks which you wanted to avoid by not taking a prescription drug.
  • Eventually, you might end up over consuming the suggested amount of a particular mineral. For example, you are supposed to consume 2000 milligrams of calcium per day. You have already consumed around 1500 of it as part of your breakfast of milk and cereals. Next, you take two different supplements having similar benefits, and you have exceeded the limit advised which can cause problems in the long run.
  • The warning labels provided on these supplements are very misleading indeed. Nowhere do the manufacturers take any responsibility for any side effect that may arise after taking medicine. Whatever warnings are given are quite vague and only corresponding to specific cases like pregnancy or heart disease. Any specific symptom and their impact are quickly ignored, and you cannot do anything about it.
  • None of the supplements available can cure you of any diseases that you may be suffering from. They may provide you with a temporary respite, but in no situation, they would eliminate the disease. If you see a supplement that claims to be able to do that, then it probably is trying to fleece your big time.
  • The supplements which are claiming to be natural products are far away from that criterion. Mentioning that is usually a method to help you consider this as a viable option. Even though the manufacturers are quite aware that the product they are offering is not damaged free, they still mention it as a life savior, and some even make tall claims which are difficult to believe.
  • Excessive consumption of any particular kind of supplement can lead to severe side effects. While protein in excess can cause Dehydration, cramping and kidney damage, Creatine gives rise to weight gain and gastrointestinal. Even Vitamin C intake in extra doses can prove harmful as you might face symptoms like Kidney stones and diarrhoea.
  • Fish oil supplements are extremely popular because of the benefits they might provide. However, the omega three they claim to provide can easily receive from your diet as well. The problem is that the consumption of fish oil supplements has led to serious heart ailments something that no one would want to face.
  • Soy supplements are consumed by women to relieve the symptoms of menopause that they may be facing. The American cancer society, however, asserts that any research on its benefits is not proven as it acts to increase the risk of breast cancer. In such a situation the supplement should be quickly done away with.
  • Iron Supplements are recommended by doctors for a lot of conditions including pregnancy, iron deficiency anemia, menstruation, etc. Though, they are important when your body has a deficiency of iron, there are a lot of side effects of iron supplements. These include risk of heart attack, nausea, constipation, block stools etc.

Dietary supplements should be taken when the person in question feels he is unable to receive some nutrients as part of his diet. However, blindly taking medicines without an ounce of a surety that they are effective is not a very good idea. Most dietary supplements do come with their share of warnings, but they are very clichéd and not aimed at expressing specific risks that can arise. There is no harm in consuming dietary supplements but taking them only after consulting a medical professional is the right way to go about it.

Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.