What is a Dietary Supplement?
Dietary supplements provide nutrition foe your body. They also help to reduce the risk of diseases because of lack of nutrients in the body.
Supplements can be in the form of pills, extracts, capsules, powders, gel tabs, and liquids. They are a convenient way to incorporate vitamins, minerals, fiber, and herbs in regular routine.
Who Should Take a Supplement?
Although dietary supplements can never replace healthy nutrients from healthy foods, a supplement can be of help in case of vitamin deficiencies.
Supplements can be prescribed by a doctor is a patient needs nutrients or else vitamin supplements can also be bought over the counter.
You may wonder if you really need a supplement for your body. Some supplements are for the sake of keeping you healthy, preventing sickness, and increase your life.
Whatever is the reason, you should still consult a doctor or dietician because some supplements can be harmful. They can be expensive and cost you even by damaging your health.
Vitamin And Mineral Recommendations for Aged People over 50.
The Dietary Guidelines of Americans
guides us about the body’s requirements of vitamins and minerals. Too much of anything can be harmful. Therefore, it is recommended to have daily vitamins and minerals needs fulfilled from natural foods.
Older people lack nutrients and may need supplements more than young adults. A doctor can guide you better whether you need a supplement or simply need go adopt a healthier diet.
Calcium is needed to maintain bone health with the help of vitamin D. Weak bones increase the risk of fractures in older people.
It is therefore important to have sufficient calcium from diet. Milk products, leafy greens, and breakfast cereals have calcium.
Women over the age of 50 need 1200 mg of Calcium each day whereas men need 1000 mg of Calcium. The dose should not exceed 2000 mg.
The human body makes vitamin D in sunlight. However, older people may lack vitamin D as their immune systems are weak and incapable of working well. Fortified foods with vitamin D can help in this case such as milk, fish, and fortified cereals.
600 IU vitamin D is the daily requirement for people of ages 51 to 70. The dose increases to 800 IU after the age of 70. Vitamin D dose should not exceed 4000 IU.
Vitamin B6 is vital for the formation of red blood cells in the body. Foods containing Vitamin B6 include bananas, potatoes, chicken breast, and fortified cereals.
Men should take 1.7 mg while women need 1.5 mg of vitamin b12 daily.
Vitamin B12 maintains the health of red blood cells in the body. Adults as well as older adults the same amount of vitamin B12 but their body may not be able to absorb enough of it naturally from foods. Supplements can be prescribed in this case by a doctor to fulfil body’s requirement.
What is the Role of Antioxidants?
Antioxidants have a vital role in preventing the body from various diseases. These natural substances are found in foods which should be taken regularly.
Beta Carotene is found in dark green vegetables and carrots. Selenium is found in grains, meat, liver, and seafood. Vitamin C is found in peppers, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. Vitamin E is found in olive oil, peanut oil, sesame, nuts, and canola.
Are Dietary Supplements Safe?
The federal drug administration has a check on medicines to check for their safety and reliability. All prescription medicines are regulated by the FDA after evaluating whether they can fulfil the claims made. Dietary supplements are not checked in the same way as FDA does not authority over them.
Seeing a dietary supplement on a shelf does not assure about its safety. It is solely the company’s responsibility to ensure their product is safe for use.
The FDA looks into the safety issue when there are reports against any supplement. It may then take the product off the market and see for false claims made by the company misrepresenting what the supplement actually is capable of doing.
Seal of approval is available by private company for supplements to ensure their safe manufacturing methods, accurate labelling, and free from harmful ingredients.
A herbal supplement contains extracts from plants. These can be very useful for treatments although researchers are still looking for using them as part of treating health conditions.
You may have heard of the more common extracts such as ginseng, black cohosh, and gingko biloba. These extracts are used for various purposes and significant improvements have been seen with their use.
Which Supplement Should You Take?
It is advised to choose a dietary supplement wisely. You should know if your body really needs a supplement depending on the condition.
Learn and do your research about the dietary supplement you want to take. A dietary supplement might not work in the same way for you as it did for someone else. Always be aware of the source of information you read the facts from.
Remember the fact that everything may not be safe for you even if it is labelled natural. A natural supplement can interact with other medicines and make alter the way it works for your body.
Ask your Doctor about any dietary supplements you want to take. Also tell him about any supplements you have been taking at present. Many medicines interact with supplements and it is therefore better to know about if beforehand.
Buy Wisely as brands differ in quality and ingredients. Follow your doctor’s advice and know what ingredients might not be useful for you. Know that more is not always better and it may also harm your body.
Check the Science behind any supplements. Any claims made by the manufacturer should be based on science. Gather all information provided by the company and check with your doctor.
How to Stay Healthy?
Regular physical activity along with a healthy diet is necessary for a healthy mind and body. It is also advised to avoid smoking and alcohol to keep your health at best.
Also, seeing a doctor regularly helps evaluate your condition from time to time and diagnose diseases earlier. Dietary supplements should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor as many of them may not be suitable for your body.