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Health Supplements - Do We Really Need Them?

Dt. Tamanna Narang 92% (4614 ratings)
M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition (Delhi University)
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Panipat  •  5 years experience
Health Supplements - Do We Really Need Them?

It is important for you to have a healthy and balanced body in order to perform your daily activities well. People often think health supplements are efficient alternatives to a healthy diet and regular physical exercise while most of the doctors and nutritionists believe that there is no need for any health supplement if you take in right quantity and quality of food and engage in regular exercise. While health supplements are not alternatives to a healthy lifestyle, they are somewhat necessary for everyday health in the hectic lifestyles of today.

Nowadays, stress (learn more about for Controlling Everyday STRESS) is a constant companion and the foods that we consume are often not of proper quality. You may think that you are taking foods full of nutrients but pesticides and chemicals used farming diminish the nutrient content from the crops. This creates a necessity for taking health supplements for the proper nourishment of body.People with certain medical conditions also need supplements. Supplements fill the gap in your diet.

Beneficial health supplements:

  1. Pregnant women and breastfeeding (leanr more about the Benefits of Breastfeeding) women need iron supplements. Folic acid can be supplemented in your diet in order to reduce the chances of birth defects.
  2. You can take in vitamin D supplements if they don't get enough sunlight every day. Adults, especially after the age of 40 need vitamin D and calcium supplements to maintain bone health.
  3. Adults above the age of 40 are also advised to take vitamin B-12 supplements. 

Supplements have some side effects depending upon your health condition. If you take some supplements along with some other medicines or before surgeries, they can lead to serious complications. Research has concluded that some vitamin and minerals supplements particularly iron supplements, increase the risk of death. So it is necessary to have a proper examination of the body before you take health supplements. The risk factors include: 

  1. Taking vitamin B6 regularly in excess of 100 mg may lead to damage of your nerves
  2. Taking 400 international units of vitamin E on a regular basis increases the health risk and may even lead to premature death
  3. Taking multivitamins does not supplement poor eating habits. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult the doctor.
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