Dietary supplements by definition cover products or ingredients which are taken orally and act as supplements to the existing diet. Most dietary supplements are readily available in retail outlets without prescriptions.
The field of herbal dietary supplements is huge and has a full repertory of extracts that can be used as supplements. Gingko, Ginseng, Hawthorn, St. John’s wort are just a few common herbal extracts that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Most herbs also have curative properties.
Vitamins such as A, D, C and B complex are very important for the normal functioning of the body. They can be obtained by following a balanced diet. They are available as capsules and tonics in concentrated forms to aid better absorption.
Minerals are required for the body for its metabolic processes. There are two categories of minerals based on the quantities required by our body. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, chloride, sodium and sulfur are the macro-minerals. Trace minerals include zinc, iron, copper, iodine, manganese, cobalt, selenium and fluoride. These are again available in our diet but can also be obtained from fortified foods and oral supplements.
Amino acid and proteins are building blocks of our body. They are required for various metabolic processes and body building activities. They are essential in repair mechanisms and hormonal pathways. Protein supplements are available as protein shakes and isolates.