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The benefits and harms of dietary supplements

Medicine goes online: online consultation services with doctors and mobile checkups appear. The development of the field of biotechnology makes it possible to monitor the indicators of the body in real time. Biohacking has become a trend in recent years, which is based on thorough diagnostics and determination of the body’s needs. This explains the new wave of interest in vitamin and mineral complexes. What are dietary supplements for and what types of dietary supplements are there?

What are dietary supplements

According to the Federal Law of 02.01.2000 N 29-FZ “On the quality and safety of food products”, biologically active food additives (BAA) are food products of natural origin (or identical to natural), which can provide “fortifying, mild diuretic, tonic, calming and other types of action in various functional states, to reduce the risk of diseases, as well as to normalize the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract”.
Dietary supplements are not drugs. The benefits and harms of many dietary supplements have been researched by the US National Center for Health Statistics, and it has been shown that supplementation can compensate for micronutrient deficiencies.
Each type of drug has certain pharmacological properties and affects the systems and organs of a person. You can find a complete list of medicines registered in Russia in the register on the website of the Ministry of Health, and information about dietary supplements.

Supplements and diet

The set of vitamins and microelements necessary for normal human life is quite extensive. The main source of these substances is food. Dietary supplements are designed to optimize the amount of nutrients that enter the body, but they are not a substitute for a balanced diet.
Choosing the right food can reduce the risk of disease, as confirmed by research from the US Department of Health and Human Services and scientists from the Human Nutrition Research Center. However, the required element is not always contained in products in the required amount, therefore it is necessary to replenish the deficiency with the help of balanced complexes of vitamins and minerals.

What are food additives

A unified classification of dietary supplements has not yet been developed. Most often they are subdivided according to composition, functional activity, effects and other criteria. The most important for humans are the following dietary supplements.
Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed in very small quantities. The body cannot synthesize them on its own, therefore it must assimilate from food. With a deficiency of any vitamins, the normal functioning of the body is disrupted.
The need for vitamins depends on the characteristics of the region of residence and the state of a particular organism. A person needs all 13 vitamins known to date. It is possible to fill the shortage with the help of special supplements – these can be both monopreparations and vitamin complexes. For example, the complex of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients maintains optimal nutrient levels and benefits from 24 vegetables, plants and fruits.

Minerals are chemical elements vital to all body systems. A person receives them with water and food. The most essential for the body are potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and iodine. Basic complex tab. helps to replenish 93% of the daily need for iodine (for comparison, 100 g of pink salmon contains only 33% of the daily requirement).

Essential fatty acids are complex compounds of glycerol and fatty acids. The human body is not able to synthesize them on its own, they are absorbed only with food. Omega-3 Complex provides the body with the optimal amount of Omega-3, which supports the cardiovascular system and contributes to the preservation of youth.

Dietary supplements for health can also be classified according to the purpose of their use. Balanced complexes of substances can solve various problems: there are drugs to protect the heart and blood vessels, for the digestive system and liver, to maintain immunity, and many others.

Sports nutrition stands apart. These are biologically active supplements, the purpose of which is to replenish the deficiency of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that occurs against the background of intense physical exertion. Sports nutrition can be designed to improve exercise performance, achieve optimal body weight, build muscle mass, reduce body fat percentage, etc. For energy replenishment after exercise, the Amway lineup includes non-alcoholic Power Drink – without sugar, with a minimum of calories and with natural juice.

The benefits of dietary supplements for the body

Dietary supplements can have a significant effect on individual functions of the body and its condition as a whole. For example, calcium and vitamin D are important for maintaining bone strength. Pregnant women are advised by doctors to take folic acid to prevent fetal defects that can lead to nonviability of the embryo, such as spina bifida, anencephaly, and heart defects.
Before taking this or that vitamin complex, you need to consult your doctor.

Why are dietary supplements dangerous?

Some dietary supplements can be harmful to the body. If a person has diseases or risk factors, the effect of dietary supplements can be unpredictable. It is not recommended to combine the intake of dietary supplements and medicines. For example, a product such as the herbal supplement St. John’s wort makes many medicines less effective.
It is not recommended to use dietary supplements in the following situations:

  • a combination of additives not agreed with the doctor;
  • the use of additives in conjunction with drugs;
  • Taking substitute supplements instead of prescription drugs.
  • taking too many of some supplements, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, or iron.

Some supplements can also have unwanted effects before, during, and after surgery. Therefore, be sure to inform your doctor about any dietary supplements you are taking.
Unscrupulous manufacturers can manipulate the composition and proportions of active ingredients. Only the presence of all the necessary certificates confirms the conformity of the product to the declared properties and the safety of its use.


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