In most cases, one can meet all of their nutrient requirements by consuming a variety of food items and maintaining a balanced diet. Therefore, consuming those pills and powders can often prove to be more harmful than beneficial and can be detrimental to the overall health of the individual. Minerals and vitamins are essential components that the body needs to function, grow, and repair properly.
Those who do not meet the minimum daily nutrient requirements are advised by their doctors to include dietary supplements in their food habits. If the person is consistently depriving his/her body of the nutrients, then the same could become prone to ailments and detrimental health conditions.There are two aspects of taking dietary supplements and both of them are discussed in the following section in detail.
- Supplements act as an insurance which ensures that we meet our daily nutrient requirement even if we obtain them from the food we eat or not. “The best supplements are those that support your body’s natural production of energy and hormones,” says Shannon Chavez, PsyD.
- Intake of dietary supplements on a regular basis adds to the layer of protection it offers to an individual from diseases. This is applicable to those who don’t lead an active lifestyle and mostly don’t even bother to opt for a healthy and balanced diet.
- Health and dietary supplements add to the development and improvement of muscle strength, stamina, and the overall performance of the body.
- There are certain treatments for some deteriorating health conditions where dietary supplements are combined with certain drugs for enhancing the overall capacity and effectiveness of the treatment.
- Folic acid pills or capsules are often consumed by pregnant women under the advice of their doctors as Folic acid is essential to minimize the risk of birth defects in a child. According to Staci Lee Schnell, LMFT, “Increasing one’s intake of folate has been associated with helping to reduce depressive symptoms. Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains have high amounts of folate, or folic acid.” A daily dose of vitamin D supplement is advised to the women after delivery and also to the teenagers as it helps in the absorption of calcium in the body thereby providing protection from cases of osteoporosis in the later stages of their lives. According to Courtney Bancroft, PsyD, “Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to numerous diseases and risk for disease, including high risks of sleep disorder. In the past two decades, we have seen a rise in vitamin D inadequacy and deficiency — the latter can be detected by a blood test — in the population.”
- The major drawback one can point out if he/she ever opted for a dietary supplement is the outlandish price tags they often come with. Chalking out a properly balanced diet and preparing the same on a regular basis is a much more economic practice.
- Dietary or health supplements can often lead to adverse side effects if the content or the frequency of their consumption is not kept under check. If an excess amount of vitamin A is consumed, especially in the form of supplement, it ultimately leads to damaged liver, brittle bones, migraines, and defects in birth.
- While taking dietary supplements, it is seen that mixing certain vitamins and minerals interferes with the way the body absorbs them in the gut. They can even interact with certain prescription medications and therefore hinder the prevention of certain medical conditions and symptoms.
- There is a constant threat of an individual to overdose on dietary supplements. But the same cannot be said when it comes to food. One cannot simply overdose on food.
- Health and dietary supplements are not a healthy choice over food. For example, taking vitamin B – complex supplements may provide you with the many nutrients present in the legumes and whole grains, but then again the essential fibers and protein from the real grains is absent in the artificial pill.
Consumption of dietary or health supplements has both advantages as well as disadvantages. Therefore, to be on the safer side of the bridge, one should always consult with the doctor before opting for them and including the same in their diet plan.