December 5, 2013
A dietary supplement is a food product containing one or more dietary ingredients that is intended to promote health by adding it’s nutritional value to the diet. The substances provided by dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, enzymes, probiotics, and herbals or other botanicals. Animal-based and plant-based food sources can be used to obtain the substances. Dietary supplements are manufactured in the form of pills, tablets, capsules, gelcaps, drinks, proetein powder, and sports bars. They are not intended to replace a healthy, balanced diet but are helpful for and perhaps necessary for obtaining a needed intake amount of a nutrient.
Benefits & Risks
When used in an informed and proper way, dietary supplements can effectively provide a boost one’s overall health. The physiological effects bebefit not only the physical health but the mental health as well. The functioning of the brain including cognition benefit from a regular healthy amount of amino acids which improve and replenish the brain’s neurotransmitters. Nutrient shortage or deficiency in the diet can result in many serious health problems and diseases, affecting virtually every aspect of the health such as bones, tissues, immune system, organs, hormones, chemical balances, and mental health.
The risks of dietary supplements involve individuals self-medicating and being unaware of the side effects, warnings, and possible reactions. Dietary supplements are not purefied compounds like drugs, and introducing impurities into the body is a health risk. They are available without prescription, and through self-medicating some mixtures of organic compounds can reduce the safety or effectiveness of their use. Uninformed use that results in ‘megadosing’ and the false idea that ‘natural is safe’ can lead toxic levels of a substance in the body....