Is it Necessary to Take Dietary Supplements?


These days, everyone is talking about taking some sort of dietary supplement. But do you know its pros and cons? What about the benefits of taking dietary supplements? In this article, we will explain all you need to know about them, including: 

  • What Are Dietary Supplements? 
  • Are dietary supplements safe?
  • Pros and Cons of Dietary Supplements 
  • Why Consider Natural Food?
  • Date fruit as a dietary supplement

Nutritional supplements are everywhere these days. It can be hard to know what each supplement label means and at what doses you should drink them. If you believe you need supplementation, take a look at this article! You’ll be sure to see what they can do for your nutrition status and health.

What are dietary supplements?

By definition, a dietary supplement intends to supplement the diet. These supplements contain one or more dietary ingredients. They include vitamins and minerals. Some of them also include herbs, botanicals, etc. These supplements may come in many different forms. You can buy them as tablets, capsules, powder, liquids, and more.

Products advertised as supplement products come with a Supplement Facts label. They should list all the active ingredients in the product. It must also include the proper dose, as well as other components. Some of these may include fillers, colorings, bindings, and flavoring. Popular nutritional supplements include vitamin D, calcium, folic acid, omega 3, and vitamin C. Some may also come as a multivitamin or protein powder.

Are dietary supplements safe?

Dietary supplements contain active ingredients. These are chemicals that can interact with the absorption of other nutrients in your diet. It might even cancel out some medications you may take. Be aware of some reactions! You might experience some side effects. This usually happens if you drink them at higher doses.

Some nutritional supplements are not meant for children. Therefore, they should not be given to anyone under the age of 18. We recommend making sure you do it with physician supervision. We also advise those who are pregnant or nursing to please consult with your physician or OB-GYN if the supplements are safe.

Pros and cons of dietary supplements

You’re probably already wondering if it’s okay to take supplements every day. In that case, we would like you to be aware of some of their benefits and risks. The dosage and quality of the supplement may vary per individual. Therefore, we highly recommend that you always talk to your doctor or dietitian about what is best for you.

Benefits of dietary supplements

In some cases, individuals may have a specific health condition or a nutritional need. They may benefit from taking daily or regular dietary supplements. Below are some of the advantages of dietary supplements: 

  • They may complement your diet. A person with a normal and healthy diet will not need to take supplements. However, some individuals may not be able to eat a certain kind of food. This may be due to an allergy, diet, or disease. Because of this, they may not get enough of a nutrient, such as iron or vitamin B12. In these cases, a supplement can be a good complement.
  • They are not pharmaceutical drugs. Since they do not contain any active pharmaceutical agents, they are not medications. They will also not need any prescription. Someone who wants to remain healthy may choose to use supplements. You may be assured that it will not pose as many risks to your bodies.
is it necessary to take dietary supplements?

Risks of dietary supplements

We must always be careful with anything that contains active compounds. This is because it might interact with other nutrients, medications, or food. If used incorrectly, it might lead to unsavory consequences. Here are some of the risks of taking nutritional supplements:

  • Combining supplements may not be a good idea. This is because it could lead to nutrient overload and toxicity. It may also have adverse interactions with your other nutrients and medications.
  • We recommend avoiding the use of supplements and medications together. This is because some supplements may reduce or increase the bioavailability of your medication. There might be a possibility that your supplement reacts with your drugs. They may lead to a lower or higher absorption of your prescription and over-the-counter medications. This could make your medicine ineffective.
  • There is a possibility of exceeding the recommended levels. Taking too much of certain nutrients can become dangerous. It may even lead to deficiencies of other vitamins. Vitamin D, Vitamin E, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin K can be dangerous at high doses. It can eventually lead to vitamin toxicity, which may be lethal.
  • Some supplements can be dangerous before and after surgery. Some nutritional supplements can cause risks. This is because they can cause bleeding, toxicity, or side effects. For this reason, we highly recommend you discuss with your physician before including them in your diet.

Before taking dietary supplements, please be aware of this warning provided by the Food and Drug Administration: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Why consider natural food?

By now, you are probably asking yourself if it is good to take supplements every day. The truth is that it depends on your health status. There are a lot of possible risks for dietary supplements. Therefore, the better question may be, why consider natural foods? Consuming a wholesome diet will include all of your essential nutrients. This is vastly better than relying on synthetic nutrients in supplements.

Vegetables and fruits often contain water-soluble vitamins and minerals. They also contain antioxidants like phytochemicals. Apples, almonds, berries, green leafy vegetables, and others may help reduce the risk for diseases. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. It may even prevent cancer and heart disease. Consuming foods high in vitamin A, C, and E, lycopene, and selenium is a great idea. They may have a lot of great antioxidants too.

Some foods like dairy, animal protein, and fatty acids, contain essential nutrients. They may not be otherwise available in other types of food. These include vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, and omega 3. If you follow diets that are low in protein, you may be at risk of being deficient in these nutrients. The same goes for plant-based, or dairy-free diets.

Date fruit as a dietary supplement

Consuming natural foods may be a better way to manage your health. Adding highly nutritious foods to your diet is a good idea. Did you know that dates contain all sorts of nutrients? This includes carbohydrates, minerals, and protein. It also contains essential vitamins, fiber, and essential fatty acids.

Some of the important minerals in dates include selenium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. These are all essential for body functions. These include nerve conduction, fluid balance, and immunity. Dates also contain a high amount of vitamin C and B complex. These superfoods also contain carotenoids and phenolics. Because of this, they are considered a potent antioxidant. This means it can help balance oxidative damage. It may even prevent illness. Finally, dates are high in fiber. This is essential in keeping your gut healthy. It also helps remove cholesterol from your body. Fiber in dates may also help lower your blood sugar. 

Instead of looking for nutritional supplements, we recommend you to try to follow a balanced diet. It would be great if it is full of high vegetables, fruits, and protein. You might also want to have a diet that is high in fiber. You can also always add natural superfoods to supplement your diet. Dates are great snacks that you can eat every day. It may also give you an extra boost! It might provide you with some of the nutrients you may be lacking.

dates and diabetes: what you need to know

Are dietary supplements safe to take? Should you be taking dietary supplements every day? These are valid questions! You may take nutritional supplements, especially if your doctor or dietitian suggests it. However, we recommend being careful if you choose to consume some on your own. Be mindful of the interactions that they could have! Please make sure to check its dosage. We recommend adding more natural foods to your diet! This will help prevent developing any deficiencies.

Summary

Nutritional supplements are a common part of diets these days. However, that does not mean they are always safe. We recommend taking some of the factors in this article into account. This might help you decide which ones to take. We would also like to remind you to always read the manufacturing labels carefully. If you prefer a more natural way, maybe eat a varied and wholesome diet! Be sure to include food like dates. These are high in macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.

Scientific Information

  1. Dietary Supplementa supplement that includes one, or more, dietary ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, botanicals, and more. 
  2. Phytochemical a plant nutrient that may have various structures and many beneficial health effects.
  3. Antioxidant – a compound that helps fight free radicals, chemicals, and harmful toxins that cause damage to the body.
  4. Supplement Facts Labelthis label lists all the required ingredients, including total calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugars, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Any other ingredients the supplement claims to have, must be listed with corresponding amounts.
Written by:

Juliana Tamayo, MS

Nutritionist

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
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