Are supplements really worth it?



Supplements are a big deal nowadays. 57.6% of adults took some kind of supplement between 2017 and 2018. Vitamin D supplements were all the rage. The whole idea was that it could help you deal with lots of diseases like cancer, depression, and others.

But what are these supplements? Why do people take them? And most importantly what do they actually do?


Contrary to what people may think, some supplements may cause reactions. Especially if you take it in high doses. And you should also be careful when taking it alongside any regularly prescribed medicine. So, this article aims to describe their potential side effects as well.

Supplements can be vitamins, herbs or minerals, and more. Essentially, you just take these pills to, well, 'supplement' your diet. Supplements are pretty popular nowadays.


There are many adults and even children in the US that take one or more supplements or vitamins. The idea behind supplements is that they will give you all the nutrition and vitamins you need if your diet isn't giving you that.But the supplements aren't meant to be a substitute for a balanced meal in the first place. That's just not how it works.


Some supplements can give you the nutrition you need day to day. For example, calcium and Vitamin D will help keep your bones strong. On the other hand, Omega 3 helps fight heart diseases as well.


All these are pretty promising stuff. The NHS even recommends certain supplements during specific periods. It only recommends these supplements who are at risk of vitamin or mineral deficiency. For example, pregnant women or those who’re trying to get pregnant, need to take folic acid supplements. Or at least it’s recommended that you do. 400 microgram of folic acid supplements each day till you're 12 weeks pregnant.


Another scenario is for Vitamin D. During sunny seasons, many people can get all their Vitamin D from the Sun itself. But during winter, you should rely on your food for Vitamin D.

Those who’re at risk of deficiency, are recommended to take supplements. Keep in mind that the FDA doesn’t check whether a particular supplement is effective.But some studies show that supplements aren’t effective all the time. Taking multivitamins didn’t reduce any risk of cancer. The conclusion is the same for heart diseases as well. A study was done with 1,708 heart attack survivors.The risk of later heart attacks of survivors who took supplements compared to those who took a placebo was similar.


The Risks Of Unprescribed Supplementing


You should always take supplements only after consulting your doctor. This is a rule of thumb. Even though supplements can be bought over the counter, they may cause side effects. The active ingredient can cause a bad reaction if you’re taking something new or you’re taking it with your regular medicine.


A high dosage of supplements of any kind is never recommended. Remember that the goal isn't to get all your vitamins and minerals from supplements. It's not the same thing as having a balanced diet. That should be the main goal and priority. You should always follow proper dietary guidelines.


Vitamin D in high doses can harm your kidneys. A reason for the popularity of Vitamin D is because it isn’t getting all of it just from food. High doses of Vitamin D can trigger extra calcium absorption and also muscle pain.


Vitamin D does work in some cases though. 1,000 IU of vitamin D each day can help reduce the risk of falls and bone fractures in people aged over 65. This was according to a study done by the American Geriatrics Society.


High supplement dosage that exceeds the daily recommended limit can be harmful to your health. So, always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.


This content was provided by yours truly, Dig Detox. Our mission is to help people use technology safely as we believe health is our most valuable asset. For further articles, research, and information on the movement, please visit www.digdetox.com.


CDC

NIH

NHS

John Hopkins Medicine

Everyday Health

American Geriatrics Society