Most experts agree that taking a daily multivitamin to augment your daily intake of nutrients is helpful, safe and not harmful to your health.  A balanced nutritious diet that limits excess calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and dietary cholesterol, is always the best solution for a healthy body.

Who Needs Dietary Supplementation

There are some instances when dietary supplementation is needed to correct deficiencies of particular vitamins or minerals.

People that may benefit from dietary supplements include:

  • pregnant women
  • women who are breastfeeding
  • women who experience heavy menstrual cycles
  • cigarette smokers
  • crash dieters or people on chronic low-calorie diets
  • the elderly (especially those who are disabled or chronically ill)
  • some vegetarians or vegans
  • people with allergies to particular foods
  • people with various gut conditions—like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, chronic diarrhea, or gastric bypass surgery—that interfere with the absorption of vitamins in food.

Risks

In the United States, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), does not regulate dietary supplements as strictly as pharmaceutical drugs. The manufacturers of dietary supplements do not have to prove that they are either safe of effective.

Although, supplement manufacturers have to follow certain labeling guidelines, which includes reported benefits, that does not stop the manufacturers from claiming, often misleadingly, that their products can “boost the immune system” or “treat arthritis” even if there is little scientific evidence to prove their claims.

Which Dietary Supplement to Choose

Although, there are many dietary supplements that are safe and offer significantly helpful health benefits, there are some that pose health risks if they are overused. Before taking vitamin and mineral supplements, talk to your physician about your personal dietary plan.

For the utmost safety and quality, choose supplements tested and approved by a certifying body such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). Never use expired supplements.

For more tips on which dietary supplements are beneficial, stay tuned to askdrcris.com.

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