For many people, dietary supplements are an integral part of their daily routine. But are they really necessary? And, more importantly, are they safe? In this article, we'll explore the potential risks and benefits of taking dietary supplements, as well as the best sources of vitamins and minerals. When it comes to dietary supplements, it's important to understand that they are not regulated in the same way as prescription or over-the-counter drugs. The U.
S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not review the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. It is up to manufacturers to ensure that their products do not contain contaminants or impurities, are properly labeled and contain what they claim. In addition, dietary supplements can sometimes interact with each other, as well as with OTC and prescription drugs. This is why it's essential to consult with your healthcare team before adding any new supplement to your regimen. So, what supplements should you be taking? Here are seven popular supplements that have been linked to potential health benefits, as well as some potential risks to consider.
Vitamin DVitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium in the body and is critical for bone health and preventing bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult (if not impossible for some) to get enough vitamin D from food alone. This is why vitamin D supplements are so popular. Our bodies produce vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to direct sunlight, but the increase in time spent indoors and the widespread use of sunscreen have minimized the amount of vitamin D that many of us get from exposure to the sun. The American Geriatrics Society recommends that people over 65 supplement their diet with at least 1000 IU of vitamin D per day in order to reduce the risk of fractures and falls. However, it's important to note that high doses of vitamin D can cause additional calcium absorption and lead to muscle pain, mood disorders, abdominal pain and kidney stones. It can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Vitamin D supplements may benefit certain people, including those at risk of a deficiency, such as people with darker skin, certain health conditions and older adults.
It's also important to note that vitamin D supplements can interact with other medications, so it's important to talk to your doctor before taking them.
St. John's WortSt. John's Wort is a plant that is used as tea or in capsules and has been linked to potential benefits for depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), menopausal symptoms, insomnia, kidney and lung problems, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), wound healing and more. A review of short-term studies analyzed 27 clinical trials with about 3800 patients and suggested that St. John's Wort worked as well as certain antidepressants in reducing the symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
However, St. John's Wort can interact with other medications and reduce their effectiveness.
CalciumCalcium is essential for a strong skeleton but too much can be harmful. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 1,000 mg of calcium a day for women ages 19 to 50 and 1,200 mg a day for women age 51 and older. For men ages 19 to 70 the recommendation is 1,000 mg a day and 1,200 mg a day for men age 71 and older. There are several dietary sources of calcium such as plain low-fat yogurt, tofu, skim milk, cheese and fortified cereals and juices.
If you have low levels of calcium in your blood despite having an adequate dietary intake your doctor may prescribe a calcium supplement.