Everything You Need to Know About Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements were introduced to the world in the 1940s in the United States of America, and since then Americans have been accumulating them to improve their health and overall well-being. The usage of supplements varies among people, some take them to evade certain deficiency or disease whilst some consider them as their energy booster. As per the statistics, one-third of Americans take supplements in the form of multi-vitamins or minerals. The studies show that dietary supplements in addition to a healthy diet can benefit the overall health of an individual with little or no risk. Even though many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies claim that their supplements are safe to consume, it is always advisable to consult your healthcare consultant before taking any form of supplements.

What are dietary supplements?

To understand whether your body needs dietary supplements or not, you need to understand what they are. Dietary Supplements are supplements that are a combination of one or more ingredients like vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and enzymes in the form of capsules, tablets, gelcaps, powder, and liquids. They are consumed to support good health and combat various deficiencies of the body. One can get their hands on various branded and FDA-certified supplements available in health food stores, drug stores, grocery stores, fitness centers, and on various online websites. It is a significant fact to remember that the mentioned Supplements are NOT Medicines and do not cure any kind of disease.

Benefits of dietary supplements

Nowadays, most of us prefer eating junk food over healthy and nutritious food, we do lack many nutrients in our bodies. To fulfill that lacunae, certain dietary supplements are there that help us in getting adequate amounts of essential nutrients. However, this doesn't mean that we should switch to supplements rather than having a wholesome diet. Given today's lifestyle, there are many reasons why people take supplements, including maintenance of good health, supporting mental and physical performance, and providing support to their immune system. For example, to keep bones strong and reduce bone loss, Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are recommended. Whereas, folic acid helps in decreasing certain birth defects and Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils are considered as great in keeping our hearts healthy. Although dietary supplements are available without a prescription, still it is important to consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplements. To know more about dietary supplements and their contribution to a healthy being, you can visit the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.

Some Common Dietary Supplements

According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 77% of people take at least one dietary supplement daily. Here are some popular dietary supplements:-

  • Vitamin D - Being the most popular supplement, it improves a range of ailments and conditions, including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, etc.
  • Magnesium - Defeating Vitamin C and Calcium, this is the second most popular supplement. It helps in reducing the frequency of Migraines and improves sleep.
  • Fish Oil - Known for its potential benefits for mental health, treating inflammatory disease, maintaining muscle, and even cancer prevention, this has become a go-to supplement.
  • CoQ10 - It is a nutrient that helps in converting food into energy and also acts as a potent antioxidant that is beneficial for the heart.
  • Multivitamins - Even though this is the most known supplement it doesn't do much for most of the population. Its popularity slipped 1.3% as per the 2019 survey.
  • Probiotics - They are consumed to keep gastrointestinal disorders away and keep our intestines in good shape.
  • B-Complex - All 8 essential B vitamins are present in this one B-complex supplement.

Any Risks Involved?

However much, many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies claim that their products are 100% safe and effective, certain supplements have strong effects on the body. One can predict side effects if one takes high doses of prescribed medicines. If you are on certain medication the supplements you are taking can also interact with them in a problematic manner. For example, Antioxidant supplements like Vitamin C and E can reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy for some types of cancer. To promote their business, many manufacturers add excess amounts of Vitamins, Minerals, and other ingredients to the food we consume, which results in reverse reactions. Like excess consumption of Iron can cause Nausea and Vomiting, further leading to liver damage. Consumption of dietary supplements is generally not advisable during pregnancy and nursing, one should always consult their doctors before taking any as many of them are not well tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children.

Things to Consider Before Taking Any Dietary Supplements

In the present times, when supplements are easily available on the shelves of every store, there are certain things that you might need to consider before grabbing your hands on them.

  • Know it All
  • - Before purchasing any kind of supplement, you should get all the information regarding it and take the advice of your healthcare provider so you don't land in any kind of risk arising from its consumption. Sources like The Office of Dietary Supplements and FDA can also be referred for all the information on various dietary supplements. However, your healthcare provider who knows your medical history is always preferred over others as a reliable source of information for your supplements.
  • Avoid self-medication
  • - Many people think that once they are well aware of all the information of the dietary supplements they can take them on their own without consulting any healthcare professional or supplement experts. Due to this, they invite many uncalled situations or circumstances, so it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Consulting a healthcare professional or supplement experts before taking any form of supplements will help you know whether you need it or not, the right amount at which it should be consumed, and for how long it should be taken. It has been keenly observed by many doctors that those people who don't consult any healthcare professional before taking supplements, later realize that their deficiencies could have been fulfilled through diet without any need of taking supplements.  
  • Caveat Emptor
  • Before investing in any supplements, all the consumers should read the labels properly and check all the information regarding the safety and effectiveness of the ingredients, date of manufacturing, and all the claims the product supports.
  • Report to FDA in case of any disparity
  • If you or anyone in your family experiences any serious illness or reaction because of the consumption of the supplements, you should immediately report your concern to the FDA. However, any specific avoidance and allergy which was expressly mentioned on the packaging would not be entertained.    

About ZIM Laboratories

ZIM Labs is an innovative drug delivery solution provider focusing on improving patient convenience and adherence to drug intake. We offer a range of technology-based drug delivery solutions and non-infringing proprietary manufacturing processes for the production and supply of innovative and differentiated generic pharmaceutical products to our customers globally. At ZIM Labs we provide our customers a comprehensive range of value-added solid dosage differentiated generic products in semi-finished and finished categories/formulations. These include granules, pellets (sustained, modified, extended-release), taste-masked powders, suspensions, tablets, capsules, and recently developed Oral Thin Films (OTF).


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