Nutritional Supplements Vitamin Supplements

Nutritional supplements, vitamin supplements and other additions to our diet ... some points to ponder.

Secrets of Natural Healthy Living

In our highly medicated society where every ache and pain has a corresponding pill and capsule, nutritional supplements, vitamin supplements and other health supplements are similarly being used to prevent and treat a wide variety of ailments. This should not be so, of course, as supplements have never been strongly proven to replace a healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle program on one hand and proper medical care on the other hand. These products are not called supplements for nothing, after all.

Check the Label

If you make it a habit of checking the nutritional supplements information on the label of these products, your observation will be that the supplement does not provide for the recommended daily allowances of all the nutrients necessary to keep human healthy. Most, if not all, nutritional supplements - vitamin supplements and their kind included - will only provide for specific nutrients in certain amounts depending on the purported benefits.

For example, an anti-aging supplement versus a sports supplement containing B vitamins will have different amounts of the nutrients in each pill. Where the former uses B vitamins to fight aging, the latter has B vitamins to boost physical performance - a big difference from the perspective of a layman.

Food Variety Is Still the Best

Thus, you must still eat a healthy diet filled with a wide variety of food groups including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, dairy products, nuts, seed and legumes even when you are taking nutritional supplements. Vitamin supplements and other similar products can only provide an extremely limited amount of the nutrients essential for good health.

No, even when you take such an amount of nutritional supplements as to reach the recommended daily allowances (RDA) for the nutrient, these products were not formulated to take the place of a healthy diet. For example, you will take 10 Vitamin C tablets to reach its RDA, thus, giving you the reason to skip on citrus fruits and other natural food sources for the vitamin. You are exposing yourself to Vitamin C overdose!

Drug Interactions

Also, not everybody is suitable for nutritional supplements. Vitamin supplements, for example, must be prescribed by doctors for people with an underlying medical condition or for persons on a medication program since adverse drug interactions and interference do happen with these health-related products.

  • Antioxidant supplements (Vitamins C and E, most notably) may lessen the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs

  • Blood clotting can be affected by taking Vitamin K and, thus, not recommended for people undergoing surgery or for persons with blood disorders.

You must also be careful about taking over-the-counter nutritional supplements when you are a pregnant or lactating mother. Your child can be exposed to the substances in these supplements, which may prove harmful to the baby in the long run. For example, vitamin A overdose in a pregnant woman can lead to birth defects for the fetus.

Indeed, you must be careful in choosing nutritional supplements. Vitamin supplements and similar products have their benefits but only when these are used in the proper manner - right prescription for your needs, right dosage and right quality.

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