What are Dietary Supplements?

Dietary Supplements are products for consumption used to supplement the shortfall of nutrients, usually through oral means. It can be in the form of a pill, capsule, liquid, powder or a tablet. A dietary supplement may be used as an adjunct to the normal diet or as a fall out of some major illness, to build the strength and stamina of the body. Dietary supplements have evolved over a period of time. They have, due to improved manufacturing and research procedures, become an essential part of our diets and lives. One of the other reasons behind the success of dietary supplements is the inconsistent diet that we intake. The effectiveness of the dietary supplement can be found from the changes that occur, on the human body, over a period in time.

The Dietary supplement is a worldwide industry valued at over $100 billion. However, the pertinent thing to remember is that dietary supplements do not cure diseases. These are used to fortify the immune system and act as a force multiplier.

The different types of dietary supplements

Vitamin: They are the most common of dietary supplements. It is an organic compound which is synthesized by the body to obtain energy as well as build a stronger immunity and help in myriad body functions. Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Vitamin B6, Biotin (B7), Folate (B9) and Vitamin B12 make up the list of Vitamins used for Dietary supplements.

Minerals: Minerals are chemical elements, essential for life. The list of minerals that can be used as dietary supplements is long: potassium, chlorine, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, iodine, chromium, molybdenum, selenium and cobalt. Each of these minerals has specific roles to play and in the correct doses have found to be effective.

Proteins and Amino Acids: They help in the reduction of sarcopenia during old age. For athletes, Proteins and amino acid supplements are an essential dietary supplement, since their strenuous routines increase the demand for replenishment.

Essential Fatty Acids: Omega 3 fatty acids is an essential supplement especially to those who have a history of heart diseases. However, they are simply supplements and not a cure for these diseases.

Natural Products: The natural world is replete with dietary supplements across a wide variety of products. Extracts from plants, animals, algae, fungi or lichens are popular as dietary supplements.

Probiotics: These supplements are primarily meant to influence the microbes in the large intestine and make them more effective.

Dietary Supplements, when consumed in prescribed doses, does a world of good to the human body. They supply the human body with the extra nutrients that were in less or lacking. Dietary supplements can never be a substitute for food. The ideal mechanism to build good health is a balanced diet. Dietary supplements simply enhance the effectivity or fill in the void due to the absence of a few minerals.

Dietary supplements have come a long way. Through greater research manufacturers have been able to provide us with products with a greater positive effect and fewer side effects. Dietary supplements are also prescribed by medical practitioners to overcome deficiencies.

However, they are in no way an alternative to a balanced diet, as stated previously. At best dietary supplements add as a suffix to the actual meal. Given the popularity and reach of dietary supplements, they are here to stay. So let us help you pick the right and best supplements for your needs.

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