Dietary Supplements: How to Use Them Appropriately

Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Vitamins, minerals, herbal items, and protein supplements are examples of dietary supplements that are beneficial to provide more nutrition to the diet. There are many different formulations of these goods, including drinks, energy bars, tablets, and capsules. There is no requirement for a prescription to purchase dietary supplements. They are available over the counter in pharmacies and supermarket stores all around the country.

People Use Dietary Supplements for What Reasons?

There are several reasons why people take vitamins. When they feel like they are not eating correctly, some people take supplements. If these individuals cannot acquire enough nutrients from their diet alone, they can benefit from a multivitamin or nutritional supplement.

Certain supplements may assist to reduce the chance of contracting specific diseases or ameliorate the symptoms brought on by specific drugs or medical conditions. For instance, many women take calcium supplements to lower their risk of osteoporosis, particularly if they have low body weights, or have taken steroid medicines like prednisone.

It’s critical to keep in mind that dietary supplements are not beneficial to treat, prevent, or cure illnesses. When used as directed by your pharmacist or healthcare professional, they may be good for your health.

Do Supplements Have Regulations?

Dietary supplements are governed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but under rules that are distinct from those that apply to food and drugs. The FDA keeps an eye on components, verifies labeling, and makes sure no exaggerated claims about a supplement’s efficacy are made.

Manufacturers of dietary supplements choose to be subject to more scrutiny for sound production procedures. A specific emblem and the initials GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) will appear on the supplement’s label if a company complies with these tighter rules. This signifies that the supplement’s contents are present in the amounts available on the label.

And that it does not contain any harmful contaminants. The USP Verified mark will appear on the label of a supplement that has been approved by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. These more stringent production procedures do not, however, suggest that the supplements will function more effectively or that they should be usable instead of medical guidance.

Can Dietary Supplements Harm You?

Supplements may lead to health issues, exacerbate certain medical conditions, or have unforeseen effects. For instance, some supplements can have negative effects on patients receiving radiation therapy for cancer and induce skin irritation. There is proof that taking supplements in excess or even at recommended dosages might result in unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, and rash.

Moreover, dietary supplements and prescription drugs may interfere. Because many people neglect to inform their doctor or pharmacist about any over-the-counter medications they take, this can be harmful.

Those taking blood thinners run the risk of bleeding more frequently when taking gingko biloba, garlic, fish oil, and ibuprofen. When you consume too much protein, your kidneys may have a harder time functioning, especially if you do not drink enough water or other fluids. Moreover, certain supplements may affect the outcomes of your lab tests.

How to Consider a Dietary Supplement

Before taking a dietary supplement for your illness, you should first consult a doctor or pharmacist if you are experiencing symptoms or noticing changes in your health. Instead of a food supplement, you might need medical care or medicine.

Your pharmacist can help you understand the advantages and potential risks of taking supplements. Because they are knowledgeable about which medications may interact with them.

Inform your pharmacist of any allergies you may have, and the prescription and over-the-counter medications you are currently taking. Also, inform any health concerns you may have, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.


Some patients may benefit from dietary supplements. There are some risks involved with using them, despite the ease with which they may be acquired over the counter. Before taking a supplement, always with your pharmacist or healthcare professional.