While supplements can be beneficial for specific individuals, it's essential to understand their potential risks and benefits and consult a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.
Benefits of supplements
Improved nutrient intake: Many people struggle to get all the nutrients they need from their diet alone, and supplements can help fill in the gaps. While researching nutrient densities in various foods, it was clear that it is easy to develop holes in nutrient intake.
Enhanced athletic performance: Some supplements, such as protein powders and pre-workout formulas, are marketed as performance enhancers for athletes. Many of these products may improve training performance and increase the rate of athletic gains.
Alleviation of specific health concerns: Certain supplements, such as calcium and vitamin D, may be recommended for people with osteoporosis or other bone-related conditions. A wide range of medical conditions can be supported with nutritional supplements. While the FDA does not endorse any of these claims, I have seen clinical and laboratory improvements in my patients with supplements alone and combined with medications.
"Some dietary supplements can help you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients if you don't eat a nutritious variety of foods. However, supplements can't take the place of the variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet. - National Institute of Health"
Risks and considerations
Interactions with medications: Some supplements can interact with specific prescription and over-the-counter medicines, so discussing supplement use with a healthcare professional is vital.
Quality and safety concerns: Not all supplements are regulated by the FDA, and some may contain ingredients that are not listed on the label or are contaminated with harmful substances.
Misuse and overuse: It's possible to have too much of a good thing, and taking excessive amounts of certain supplements can lead to adverse health effects.
Tips for choosing and using supplements
Consult with a healthcare professional: A naturopathic doctor, pharmacist, or registered dietitian can help determine if supplements are appropriate for your needs and recommend specific products. Book an appointment with me for individualized support.
Look for reputable brands: Choose supplements from reputable manufacturers that follow good manufacturing practices and have their products tested for purity and potency. Our sister company Healing Essence LLC is our physician-grade supplement line with a quality policy that results in our dietary supplements meeting or exceeding industry standards.
Follow recommended dosage: Always follow the recommended dosage on the label, and do not exceed the maximum recommended amount unless instructed to do so by your healthcare provider.
Be sure to understand supplements' potential risks and benefits and consult a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.
Choosing reputable brands and following recommended dosages is essential to ensure safety and effectiveness.
Dr. Giovanni A. Nelson, NDDr. Nelson is a licensed naturopathic physician in the state of Connecticut and specializes in a holistic, noninvasive approach to a wide range of chronic and acute conditions. He is the co-founder and medical director at Healing Duo Integrative Family Medical practice. Dr. Nelson is thrilled to be able to share his passion for natural/complementary and alternative health information with individuals to help them live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
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