Dietary supplements present a number of disadvantages; some include: being less healthy than food, adverse side effects from consuming excess amounts, and their ability to counteract prescription medications.
Supplements can not provide all of the necessary nutrients and benefits acquired from whole foods, thus making them less healthy. Whole food sources such as fish, vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods are the best sources when trying to consume a variety of nutrients. For example, phytochemicals, which are derived from plant compounds, contain multiple phytochemicals when consumed from a whole food, whereas supplements usually only contain one type. Another important substance not available in supplements is fiber. Katie Baker, a naturopathic doctor, states, “In the end, we all benefit more from improving our diets naturally than from adding pills and powders to a standard American diet of too many processed simple carbohydrates and fats and not enough lean...
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...educe risk for some birth defects, preterm birth and low birth weight baby, while helping you to maintain your own health during pregnancy.”7
It is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not review dietary supplements before they put on the market; however, one can check the dietary supplement label (include manufacturer or distributor name and location) for more information. Along with checking supplement labels, one should inform the FDA of any adverse effects experiencing while consuming dietary supplements. It is also important to remember that supplements do not replace a healthy diet. “It’s possible to get all of the nutrients you need by eating a variety of healthy foods, so you don’t have to take one. But supplements can be useful for filling in gaps in your diet,” says Carol Haggans, a registered dietician and consultant to NIH.8
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