The Dangers of Dietary Supplements

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According to Advances in Nutrition (Vitamin/Trace mineral supplements), “The fraction of population that is elderly has been increasing, as has the consumption of vitamin/trace mineral supplements, which is now a Multibillion dollar industry. Yet the rationale for such supplement intake by the majority may be questioned.” () Questions like, are vitamin and mineral supplements necessary for life, or is our body capable of generating enough micro-nutrients from everyday nutrition and the environment?; and are vitamin supplements supposed to be used as substitutes for the natural intake of vitamins from whole foods, for people who do not have deficiencies? These are the questions most people need to ask themselves every day. Vitamin supplements are used widely throughout the world. Vitamin supplements were never supposed to be used as a substitute for a healthy whole foods diet, yet advertisements and social media have portrayed supplements to be the norm for Americans today. Most people buy into the whole vitamin supplement craze. Today, vitamin supplements are found in many forms like pills, liquid, chews, and even powdered formats. Instead of maintaining a balanced diet, most Americans would rather ingest a few pills. The prices, however, can range from affordable to thousands of dollars. Overall, Americans spend more than 10 billion dollars each year on vitamin supplements that they don’t even need, hoping that it would act like a barrier against some of the major chronic diseases. Vitamins are organic and non-caloric micro-nutrients that are essential to life. They are broken down into two major classifications: Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and Water-soluble vitamins (C, B). Vitamins a... ... middle of paper ... ...e benefits outweigh most of the risks. Only because you can manage what you put into your body. Works Cited Dietary supplements: Do they help or hurt? What you need to know before taking a vitamin or mineral supplement. Harvard Women's Health Watch [serial online]. 2013;20 (5):1-7. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 11, 2014. Guallar E, Stranges S, Mulrow C, Appel L, Miller E. Enough is enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements. Annals Of Internal Medicine [serial online]. December 17, 2013;159(12):850-851. Available from: MEDLINE Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 11, 2014. McCormick D. Vitamin/trace mineral supplements for the elderly. Advances In Nutrition (Bethesda, Md.) [serial online]. November 1, 2012;3(6):822-824. Available from: MEDLINE Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 11, 2014.
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