In todays lifestyle, dietary supplement is not a surprise to anyone, specially in metros. Doctors also prescribes supplement to overcome many deficiencies caused due to lifestyle disorders. I am sure, many of you might be proactively eating supplements in some or the other ways.
While we understand supplements are need of today, and is also a big commercial market. It can help assuring you get enough of the vital substances the body needs to function, and help to reduce the risk of disease. Though the practical fact is supplements should not replace completely, meals which are necessary need of healthful diet. We need to make sure to eat, a variety of foods to reduce this need of supplement.
A regular and healthy regime is absolute need of today, but on the contrary we should also take supplement which is required to suffice the shortage in the body.
Dietary supplements are either extracted from plants or manufactured synthetically. These dietary supplements are purposive to add extra nutrients to one’s diet in the form of a pill, capsule, powder or liquid.
Sometimes dietary supplements can contain substances that have not been confirmed as being essential to life. People think they’re taking supplements, so their health quotient is sorted, now they can have chips, soda or whatever. But they are ignorant, they don’t know that vitamins from fruits and vegetables are healthy.
Why Supplements are needed?
It is essential to get vitamins and minerals, as the human body cannot manufacture them independently. Fruits and vegetables are the single most significant source of these micro-nutrients.
Micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are vital for our body. As they play so many roles to keep our body healthy, to retain immune-system intact, repair cellular damage etc.
Some vitamins are water-soluble like vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B12, folate and vitamin C which can not get stored in body, excess amount is thrown out of the body, whereas some are fat-soluble such as vitamin A, D, E, K are stored in the fatty tissues of the body and liver(as they act as the holding pens and release them when needed). These vitamins can stay in the body for days, sometimes even for months.
Minerals which are needed in large amounts are called macro- minerals like calcium, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, chloride,sodium,phosphorus. Minerals which are needed in less amounts are called micro-minerals like iron, zinc, copper, manganese. Though these are needed in tiny doses, still they are important for health and development of the body.
Micro-nutrients are crucial for health
- Helps in maintaining healthy blood-cells.
- Helps in extracting energy from the food you eat and convert into usable energy.
- Helps in the development and functioning of the nervous system.
- Helps in cardio-vascular system, in balancing blood cholesterol levels.
- Helps to make antibodies to fight various diseases
- Helps to break down proteins
Minerals are also vital to stay healthy, as they are important for making enzymes and hormones.
No need for overdose of these micro-nutrients
Body only uses as much as is needed for bodily functions, all excess is getting out of the body through urine.
When consumed naturally through food, these nutrients are unlikely to cause harm, even when consumed in large amounts. But when taken in concentrated doses in supplement form, can lead to negative health outcomes.
In rare cases extreme doses of certain vitamins may lead to fatal complications, even then it’s recommended to get these nutrients in a well rounded diet.
Age, genetic-disorder, some medical conditions, pregnancy these factors can increase the need for certain nutrients, that time supplements with these nutrients are needed. Supplements can be used to treat vitamin and mineral deficiency caused by illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, digestive-disorder, otherwise no need for a healthy person. A balanced-diet is good enough.
8 facts about Over consumption of dietary supplements
- Increase thirst or urination
- Upset stomach, unusual or unpleasant taste in mouth
- High dose of vitamin B3 can cause liver damage, high blood pressure
- Long term overconsumption of vitamin B6 can cause heartburn, severe neurological symptoms, nausea
- Too much of folate or folic-acid in supplement form impacts the immune system, masking a potentially severe vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Overdose of vitamin D can raise blood calcium levels, which can damage organs.
- Overconsumption of vitamin E can cause blood-clotting, hemorrhagic stroke.
Fat-soluble vitamins can accumulate in your body’s tissues, so they can cause more harm when taken at high doses over a long period.
Vitamin C has low-toxicity level but high doses in supplement form can causes gastrointestinal disturbances, including diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and an iron storage disorder (hemochromatosis)
Both water and fat soluble vitamins can cause side effects when taken in high doses in supplement form.
Over consumption of vitamins is not a problem if it is obtained through food. It will be better if you don’t mindlessly consume supplements, but consult a medical professional before taking supplements, regarding proper vitamin doses.
Disclaimer – Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.