Dietary Nutrients and Healthy Supplement

Dietary Nutrients and Healthy Supplement

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.

Important Dietary Supplements

Herbal Extracts:

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:

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:

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 Acids and Proteins:

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.

Benefits of Dietary Supplements

  • They help in maintaining optimum levels of essential nutrients in the body.
  • They help maintain good health and aid recovery in some health conditions.
  • Certain sections of people such as pregnant women, growing children, elderly adults and sports persons need extra nutrition in addition to a balanced diet. Dietary supplements go a long way in ensuring their well being and help keep deficiencies and diseases at bay.

Risks of Dietary Supplements

  • Just because they are derived from plant source it does not mean that all plant extracts are safe. One has to watch out for allergies and side-effects of consuming plant extracts.
  • Use only those supplements that have an FDA clearance. Do not use restricted or banned supplements.
  • Always consult a doctor before trying out a new dietary supplement and adhere to dosage instructions. Excess vitamins and minerals are also harmful to the body.
  • It is recommended that a combination of amino acids, preferably a protein be used instead of single amino acid supplements. This is because increased levels of a single amino acid might cause hormonal imbalances and disrupt some metabolic pathways that follow feedback synthesis.