Essay on Dietary Supplements And Health Risks

Essay on Dietary Supplements And Health Risks

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Dietary supplements are used to add additional nutritional value to the diet. Some common forms of supplements include: vitamins, amino acids, minerals, herbs, and enzymes, and can be found in a multitude of forms such as capsules, liquids, gel caps, powders, and tablets. Dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular among Americans today. According to the Centers for Disease and Control, “Over half of the adults in the U.S. use at least one type of dietary supplement, the most common being multivitamins.”1 Many use these vitamins because they are believed to present a number of benefits, such as helping or treating diseases, etc. While dietary supplements can be beneficial to your health; Americans should also be cognizant of the health risks involved.
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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