This post has been contributed by Peter Minkoff.
There are thousands of people in Australia that consume at least one or more dietary supplements every day. It all starts with an occasional usage, which over time turns into an everyday necessity for supplements. These food supplements include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, herbals, botanicals and other products. They also come in many different shapes and forms, such as tablets, capsules, powders, drinks and energy bars. Similar to many other types of food we consume every day, food supplements also have a positive and a negative effect on a human body. Let us familiarize with the subject from the basics.
Know the label
Before you start using food supplements, you should get to know what they represent, and what their primary usage is. All products which are labeled as dietary supplements carry a Supplement Facts panel, which lists its content and the amount of active ingredients per active serving, as well as any additional ingredients. Every manufacturer suggests the serving size; however you or your doctor might go for a different amount if it is more appropriate for you. Either way, get to know the products which you are thinking of using before you actually start using them.
The effectiveness of food supplements
Depending on your nutrition schedule and nutritional variety, your body will or will not get enough of the required vitamins and minerals. In case it does not, there are some supplements which can help you get adequate amounts of needed nutrients. But, supplements cannot completely replace the essential nutrients your body needs, which is why you should well organize and balance your diet. Some supplements are beneficial for overall health and for managing certain health conditions; calcium and vitamin D are very important for keeping your bones strong and reducing your bone loss, while folic acid will decrease the risk of birth defects. Also, omega-3 oils will help cure certain heart diseases, and their full effect is still being tested out. But, there are those that could have a potentially negative effect on a human body or interact with other medications. Listed below are some of them:
-Vitamin K: Even though it is very helpful, vitamin K will prevent your blood from clothing and cause wounds to open and bleed severely. It is not recommended to take it in case of a serious injury or after surgery.
-Vitamins C and E: These antioxidants are something every human body needs; however, they are known to reduce the effects of certain types of chemotherapy. Make sure to avoid taking them if under chemo.
Most people think that by simply consuming supplements, they will replace all essential nutrients found in their diets. This is the most common mistake happening everywhere. Vitamins are not food, and should never be taken in exchange for it. Supplements are catalysts in the body, and in order to do their job, your body needs food. Add vegetables and fresh fruits to your diet to reduce the need for supplements. However, if you are being too busy working and your workout time is limited, make sure to use fitness supplements in order to fill up the gaps created by missing ingredients. Dose yourself accordingly, and know that taking more than enough will not contribute towards your health. Remember that vitamins cannot replace your diet, and that for them to have their effect, your body will require food.
Bottom line is that food supplements have great effect on a human body, only if combined with proper diet and different types of nutrition. In most cases, these will not have any negative effects; however there are a few situations where food supplements can have a side-effect on your body. Always consult with your doctor, especially if you have a health condition and learn more about these supplements before you start using them.