Taking dietary supplements is an important part of your overall health plan. Supplementing your diet with certain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can help you live a healthier lifestyle.
The problem is that many people are reluctant to take dietary supplements because they think of them as drugs. This misconception has led to the development of several myths about taking supplements.
Here are five tips on how to take dietary supplements safely.
- Read the Label
Always read the label before buying any supplement. You should be able to find all the information you need there. The FDA requires that labels contain this information in a specific order:
If you don’t see anything that concerns you, then it’s safe to assume that the supplement is OK. If you’re not sure of any of the information in the warning section, however, consult your physician or pharmacist.
Don’t just rely on the words “safe” or “adverse reactions” if you don’t feel comfortable reading the entire list. Consult your doctor or pharmacist first if you have any questions. In addition, some companies choose not to use this language because it may scare off customers who do not want to know what might go wrong.
- Don’t Take Too Many Supplements
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how much vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium or iron you should take. Instead, look at each individual product for its recommended daily intake (RDI). These RDIs are based on your age, gender and level of physical activity.
You should never exceed your RDI unless directed by your doctor to do so. Doing so could cause serious side effects such as kidney damage, heart disease and stroke. It’s also possible that you’ll absorb too much of these substances, which can result in toxicity. Make sure to check your labels carefully for maximum doses and minimum amounts.
- Check Your Sources
Make sure you get your vitamins, minerals and other supplements from reputable sources. Look for the following signs of a good source:
You can also consider taking supplement vitamins as we all know that in human body there are lots and lots of vitamins and minerals which we need for the perfect functioning of our body. Most of the people are unable to fulfill all of their requirements from food and other sources which is why they are using vitamins as supplements. So if you are also unable then you can try these supplements.
Look for a seal.
Look for a logo indicating that a company follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines. GMP is a set of standards that manufacturers must follow when manufacturing products such as dietary supplements. They include things like:
- Quality control of raw materials and finished products
- Inspection of production facilities
- Testing laboratories
- Preventing contamination
- Ensuring adequate documentation of quality assurance and process controls
- Proper labeling of all products sold
CERTIFIED ORGANIC means that the product was grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified crops. PRODUCTION MANAGED MEANS that the manufacturer maintains strict records of the cultivation, harvesting and processing of ingredients used in the manufacture of the product. RECLAIMED MEANS that the product is made with recycled material. TRACEABLE MEANS that the manufacturer keeps detailed records of the origin of its inputs.
A GOOD GRASSHOPPER MEANS that the manufacturer uses only high-quality ingredients that have been tested for purity and potency by independent testing laboratories. A GOOD SOIL MEANS that the ingredient has not come into contact with chemical fertilizers, weed killers or fungicides. A GOOD FARMING SYSTEM MEANS that the land producing the ingredient has been inspected and certified by a third party.
- MEAT AND POULTRY MEANS that the animal products were raised without the feeding of growth hormones.
- FISH MEANS that the fish was caught using environmentally sound methods.
- MEAT AND POULTRY MEANS that the animal products were raised without the feeding of antibiotics or hormones.
MILK MEANS that milk was produced without the use of bovine growth hormone.
- Be Careful With Herbs And Botanicals
Herbs and botanicals (also called herbal remedies) are popular among people looking for natural cures. However, many people don’t realize that their favorite herbs can actually be dangerous. For example, St. John’s Wort contains chemicals known to interfere with the action of prescription medications, including antidepressants. Chamomile tea is often given to children to treat diarrhea. But it also contains potentially harmful chemicals that can interact with the same prescription medicines.
Be careful when purchasing herbs and botanicals; many contain toxic substances that can harm your body even more than the medication itself. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether or not you should take these types of supplements.
- Check Your Source
Your best bet is to stick with trusted brands like Vitamin Shoppe or GNC. When you buy these types of supplements, you know that they are manufactured under controlled conditions, and that they contain the proper levels of all the essential vitamins, minerals and other ingredients required.
Most importantly, you know that these brands have been checked by third parties to ensure that they meet government regulations regarding safety and effectiveness. If you can’t find a brand that meets your needs, you can always make your own remedies. Just talk to your doctor or pharmacist first before doing anything else.
For more information on dietary supplements, visit WebMD.