To improve your health, you purchase vitamins and other dietary supplements, but do you actually know what to search for or what is contained in the pack? A supplement’s “all-natural” designation does not guarantee its safety or effectiveness.
To make sure you’re purchasing a supplement that will benefit rather than hurt your health, read through all this checklist of frequently asked inquiries prior to making any purchases.
About Dietary Supplements
Vitamins, minerals, plants, enzymes, amino acids, and other nutritional components can be found in dietary supplements. The pills, capsules, tablets, or liquid forms of these goods are consumed orally as dietary supplements.
Can I Use Supplements Without a Doctor’s Prescription?
Without a prescription, supplements can be purchased over-the-counter at your neighborhood pharmacy or online. However, you should always consult your doctor before using any supplement because some of them may have unwanted side effects or interfere with other prescription or over-the-counter medications or products you’re already using. Asking your doctor before taking a supplement is extra important if you’re expecting or breastfeeding, going through surgery, have a medical condition like blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, or are pregnant or nursing. Additionally, never give a youngster a supplement without first consulting their doctor.
What Concerns About Supplement Use Should I Bring Up with My Doctor?
According to your present diet and health, ask your doctor if you need the supplement. Ask about the supplement’s potential advantages and disadvantages, recommended dosage, and duration of use. Additional inquiries include the following:
- What makes this supplement effective and safe?
- Which negative impacts could it have?
- What other medications or supplements am I taking and this supplement will they interact?
- Can it alter a drug’s effectiveness in a positive or negative way?
- Do I need to stop accepting it before surgery if it results in excessive bleeding?
- Can I use this supplement if I’m nursing or pregnant?
- Can my child safely consume this supplement?
- If I have diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, or any other medical condition, may I take it?
- What should I do if I’m experiencing negative effects or am not seeing any benefits?
- Which supplement brand has the best reputation?
- Where should I go to report any ill effects if I do use this supplement?
Make sure your physician and pharmacist are fully aware of all the vitamins and medications you are taking.
How Should Dietary Supplements Be Taken?
When consuming any dietary supplement, use common sense. You can keep on track by following these easy tips:
- Pay close attention to both your doctor’s instructions and the instructions on the packaging.
- Keep a record of all the vitamins and prescription drugs you are taking.
- Note the quantity and time of each product intake.
- It’s simple to overlook taking a supplement, which increases the risk of taking too much by mistake.
- Additionally, note any side effects you have and how the product affects you.
Whenever you see your doctor, discuss your notes with them.
Are all dietary supplements examined for safety and efficacy?
No. Manufacturers are not compelled to test the efficacy and safety of their goods. A few dietary supplement compounds have undergone animal or human testing. Folic acid, for instance, has been demonstrated in studies to lower the incidence of birth abnormalities in expectant mothers.
Although dietary supplements are regulated by the FSSAI and FDA, they are treated more like foods than like drugs. Supplement producers do not need to demonstrate that their goods are secure or efficient before putting them on the market, in contrast to medicine producers.
What Signs Point to a High-Quality Supplement?
Manufacturers must adhere to “good manufacturing procedures” (GMPs), which mandates that the supplements they produce adhere to a set of quality requirements. It has been discovered that some items may contain the chemical in greater or lesser amounts than what is indicated on the label. Or, in rare situations, they might include components like prescription medicines that aren’t specified on the label.
Look for a certification from a company that tests dietary supplements, such as the ISO, FSSAI, or any reputable lab, to be sure you’re purchasing a high-quality product. Products bearing these organisations’ seals must be correctly made, have only the substances specified on the package, and be free of any impurities that could be hazardous.
You may get more information about the supplement’s advantages, the production standards they follow, and any negative effects that have been documented by contacting the producer of the product.
What Does “Proprietary Blend” Mean?
A mixture of components utilized only by one supplement producer is referred to as a “proprietary blend.” No other firm manufactures the exact same balance of ingredients, and it is frequently challenging to determine from the label the precise proportions of each element in that blend.
What Sets RDA and DV Apart?
The quantity of a specific nutrient you should consume each day depends on your age, sex, and either you are pregnant or nursing. This amount is known as the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). The abbreviation DV, or “Daily Value,” is increasingly frequently found on the label of supplements. This is the percentage of a nutrient that the supplement contributes to a person’s daily diet as a whole. For instance, if a calcium supplement is marked as “50% DV,” it means that each serving includes 500 mg of calcium, even if the Daily Value for calcium is 1,000 mg each day. For some persons, the DV of a supplement may occasionally be greater than the RDA.
In many circumstances, a supplement’s label will state that there is no DV. To ensure that your supplement doesn’t include an excessive amount of any nutrient, consult your doctor.