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Should I Take A Dietary Supplement?


Diet and Nutrition Videos

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What are dietary supplements?

A dietary supplement is a substance that contains vitamins, herbs and minerals. It can be taken to complement a person’s diet or provide additional nutrients that may be missing from it. The top two sellers are multi-vitamins and fish oils. Products that claim to enhance weight loss and bodybuilding have also come on the market. Do these “miracle” substances really work and are they worth the premium they are sold for?

Do They Work?

In most cases there is no right or wrong answer. Each individual person is different and may be lacking in certain vitamins or minerals. There are however a few fibs that need to be debunked.

For example, weight loss pills are a legend in the world of supplements. How often have you been tempted to try the latest guaranteed weight loss pill endorsed by your favourite soap star? Well these slimming pills are usually proven using ‘cherry picked’ clinical trials that only have positive results. Rather than turning to these deceptive supplements why not make some simple life style changes to lose weight safely.

Are body building pills ripping you off or getting you ripped? Once again, these popular, protein rich products are too good to be true. The NHS warns against popular protein pills and shakes because ingesting too much protein can give you diarrhoea and do more harm than good. As with vitamin supplements, your daily protein allowance can be gained through a balanced diet.

Should we be taking them?

In general, a healthy, balanced diet should provide you with all the vitamins and minerals a body needs. If you think you are lacking in a vitamin or mineral then it is best to check with a health care professional first. Why waste money on dietary supplements when they don’t work, and could be harmful?

References

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/05May/Documents/BtH_supplements.pdf

10985 Published December 2012

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