We constantly hear that herbal supplements or certain vitamins can cure chronic conditions or at least may improve the quality of our daily lives. The problem is a lot of information provided on weight-loss supplements is unclear and confusing. It is extremely difficult to know which supplements have genuine benefits and which provide false information. By learning everything there is to know about dietary supplements, you become more informed. You’ll be able to make better choices and protect your health while also losing weight.
A better understanding of dietary supplements
The DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act) mentions that a weight-loss supplement is a product that contains dietary ingredients (vitamins, herbs, minerals, and additional botanicals, amino acids and other substances). The purpose of this product is to supplement the food we ingest on a daily basis. Dietary supplements come in the form of a tablet, capsule or pill, and their purpose is to help the body function properly.
Benefits of dietary supplements
Generally speaking, vitamins and minerals are important micronutrients with a very specific purpose – to help the body remain in good health. Vitamin A for example, is meant to support bone and vision growth, while vitamin E toughens the immune system and helps restore DNA. Vitamin deficiency may damage the ability of the body to protect and heal itself. However, taking vitamins won’t substitute food, and should only be taken in special circumstances.
Unlike vitamins and minerals, herbal supplements are different. They’re thought to have a medical purpose. Better known as botanicals, herbs have been considered an old healthcare tool for ages. Some herbs have been the basis for a lot of current medicines. Ancient civilizations relied on the healing power of certain herbs. As for dietary supplements based on herbal formulas, these are advised for adults only. Kids, even obese kids, must not turn to weight-loss pills to lose weight.
“Supplementing” means “adding something”, which means we should never substitute a dietary supplement with food. Together with a healthy lifestyle and diet, including herbal supplements to speed up the weight-loss process may be advised. However, you should consult with a nutritionist before starting to take supplements; it is important to solicit guidance otherwise you risk putting your health in danger. Not all dietary supplements available in the marketplace are beneficial to your health. In fact, this industry has been condemned so badly that it’s often impossible to label a weight-loss pill as healthy.
Studies have proven that certain dietary supplements may have positive effects on people’s general health; some may even deal with specific health conditions. Vitamin D and calcium for example, are important nutrients that keep the bones strong and reduce bone loss. As far as weight-loss supplements are concerned, potent compounds that may speed up the weight-loss process are green tea, CLA, Chitosan, whey protein, mango seed fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Safety and risk
Dietary supplements are extremely complex. The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has set some quality standards for these supplements to guarantee their purity, intensity, and composition. The imposed standards were designed to prevent the addition of harmful ingredients. The FDA constantly inspects facilities that manufacture these supplements, however not all of them are approved. Those that are all-natural don’t have to be approved because the makers claim they don’t contain any chemicals, and that they’re based solely on plants and herbs.
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Things to keep in mind before taking dietary supplements
Dietary supplements are meant to supplement a diet and not be taken instead of food. They’re not drugs; this means their purpose is not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. Generally speaking, FDA rules for dietary supplements are different than rules for over the counter and prescription drugs. As opposite to drugs, which have to be approved, dietary supplements don’t require any premarket approval or review. The company that manufactured a certain weight-loss supplement is entirely responsible for the side effects of their product.
Dietary supplements are controversial. Even if there are companies that produce all-natural supplements with no adverse effects, the mere fact that no official organization approves them is reason enough to doubt their effectiveness. Bottom line is dietary supplements should never replace food; they might help fill in the gaps and they offer results only if they’re combined with a healthy diet.
About the Author: Article Contributed by Denny Averill and Supplemented.co.uk! They take keen interest in helping get the right supplements and right nutrition.