How to Find the Right Health Supplements
Food is always the best way to obtain all the nutrients you need. But if your diet will not be enough, you can count on supplements. If you’re not sure if you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals or not, seek help from your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Knowing Your Needs
Your nutritional needs depend on various issues, such as your age, the kinds of food you eat, your medical history, and even potential health problems you might have. For example, if you’re at risk for osteoporosis, you’ll probably have to take calcium and vitamin D. Or if you’re a woman planning a pregnancy, you have to take folic acid to helps prevent certain birth defects.
Telling Your Doctor
Make it a point to inform your doctor about the supplements you’re taking, especially when you have other medicines to take. Sometimes, they will interact and be harmful together. Or you just need to be sure that you can maximize the benefits they offer (for example, if you take calcium and magnesium at once, they will compete for absorption. Doctors may also advise taking certain vitamins with or without food.
Additionally, they can tell you what dose is right for you, depending on certain factors like age, gender, and present health status (say, you are deficient in a certain nutrient).
Wise shoppers always start by doing some research. Check what each supplement does, along with its risks and benefits. People usually like to grab stuff off the shelf simply because someone they know suggested it or they probably saw it on TV. If you have questions, just ask your doctor. And if you find something that seems too good to be true, but just ask.
Check for seals of approval as well, like those given by the U.S.Pharmacopeia or NSF Internationals. These are independent organizations that assess health supplements and see whether their lists of ingredients are correct and if the products’ quality meets their standards. One thing they don’t do, however, is checking if the supplement has any side effects.
And finally, just before you decide to buy any product, be sure to look into four vital points. One, what are its benefits? Two, what are the risks involved? Three, how much of it should you take? And fourth, how long do you have to take it? If you have questions, simply call the manufacturer. It they don’t have a toll-free number (you can often find this on the label), that could be a red flag. Reputable health supplement makers always do.