Dietary Supplements – To take or Not to take

In this day and age, is our diet truly providing us with the required nutrients?

If your diet is lacking in some form, supplements can provide the adequate amount of essential nutrients. Dietary supplements come in many forms – tablets, capsules, powders and drinks and provide a multitude of nutrients ranging from vitamins and minerals to amino acids and certain enzymes.

Scientific evidence suggests that dietary supplements do help e.g. calcium tablets lead to stronger bones and fish oils and omega-3 acids lower the risk of cholesterol and heart diseases. These supplements are especially beneficial for those individuals whose body is naturally unable to produce or synthesize the essential vitamins and minerals. But their consumption also comes with certain side effects. Self prescription and over dosage of these artificial supplements can disrupt the normal functioning of bodily systems and cause even more harm. Excessive vitamin D can lead to kidney damage, excessive amounts of vitamin E can strain your heart and over consumption of vitamin K can cause liver problems.

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Consuming over and above the prescribed amounts can cause toxicity inside the body and lead to diarrhea, nausea and headaches. The interaction of these supplements with other drugs can reduce the effectiveness of these medicines and lead to medical problems and allergies.

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Although no supplement can replace a balanced diet, it can help to overcome the deficiency created by the unhealthy and limited diet consumed by individuals especially working professionals. So, if you feel that your diet is unable to supply all the nutrients required by your body, go ahead and contact a certified dietitian and ask them the correct way of incorporating dietary supplements into your diet.

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