10 Myths and Misconceptions about Dietary Supplements
As more and more people become health-conscious today, dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are people paying more attention to their diet but they are also aware of where they fall short in terms of their nutritional requirements. This is the reason that supplemental nutrition is becoming a part and parcel of lifestyle. Taking the right supplement in the right dosage brings a host of benefits, yet there are a number of myths and misconceptions linked with supplement intake. Let us know the most common ones and clear them out for you.
Myth 1: All supplements are the same
If you believe that all supplements are the same, you are mistaken. Different products contain different minerals and vitamins and you should choose them according to your individual requirements. This means that you need to read the labels carefully and have them verified by experts so that they match your specific needs. For instance, you would need to know about your deficiencies to find which dietary supplements can help in your case. Additionally, it is important that you buy only trusted brands because the quality and purity may vary from brand to brand.
Myth 2: The best supplements are the ones that are labeled “All Natural”
The common notion is that the supplements which are labeled “All Natural” are always the best. The reasoning is the growing consumer interest in natural ingredients as they consider them to be safer than the chemical alternatives. But this is more of a hype that manufacturers are capitalizing on. What really matters is the nutrition facts mentioned on the label as you should be more concerned about the nutritional benefits of the supplement rather than the ingredients that are used therein.
Myth 3: Supplement can make up for the dietary flaws
Another common misconception about nutritional supplements is that they can make up for dietary flaws and keep you healthy despite taking inadequate nutrients in your diet. But the fact is that there is no substitute for a well-rounded diet. Healthy adults are capable of obtaining most of their nutrients from food and should take a balanced with the recommended nutrient levels. Supplementation should be treated as a tool rather than the replacement for a healthy diet.
Myth 4: More is always better
With supplements, more is not always better as there is a risk for the development of various health issues if they are taken in excess. For instance, too much vitamin A elevates the risk of osteoporosis while excess intake of vitamin A puts you at a high risk for stroke. The body tends to store excess nutrients rather than excrete them and they may build up and become toxic in the long run. If you think that you can take high doses of supplements as they are available over the counter, you could be absolutely wrong. It is better to seek medical guidance for accurate dosage.
Myth 5: Taking supplements with regular medication will not hurt
People generally assume that nutritional supplements are safe even while taken with regular medications and prescription drugs. The truth is that if you are already on some routine medications, you should opt for supplementation only under medical supervision. Some botanicals either accelerate or block the absorption of prescription drugs, which means that either too much or too little will run in your bloodstream. This indicates that supplements can interfere with the action of routine medications and should not be taken unless your doctor recommends them.
Myth 6: Most people do need supplements
Another myth related to dietary supplements is that most people need it irrespective of their health status. On the contrary, adult humans require nothing extra if they take a diet high in fruits and vegetables, dairy products, whole grains and lean protein. Supplementation is to be tailored to your medical history and blood work, depending on the nutritional deficiencies indicated in your case. Even if you are taking supplements fort specific reasons such as building muscle mass, it is still better to check with your doctor first.
Myth 7: Supplements always have what their labels say
You should not go by claims because a manufacturer may state that his supplement contains 100% of your RDA requirements, yet it may have only 10% of it. Trusting the labels without doubts can take you for a ride and you should take only the product that has undergone third-party testing. Since third-party testing is done by an unbiased agency or a regulatory authority, you can trust the results. Besides affirming the nutritional claims on the labels, it also ensures that the supplement does not contain any toxic ingredients.
Myth 8: Supplements always give you all that they claim
If you think that going for supplementation will always give you whatever is claimed by a product, you may end up disappointed. The efficacy of a nutritional supplement greatly depends on the quality and purity of the ingredients used. Moreover, the results may vary from person to person as the product may work differently for people with different health statuses. According to FDA guidelines, nutritional supplements cannot lawfully claim that they can prevent or treat any disease.
Myth 9: Supplements may be effective for specific health issues
You may have heard people saying that a certain health supplement has helped them to manage specific problems such as hypertension or diabetes. The truth is that these are not medications but only fillers for the nutritional gaps. Therefore, you should not trust such a product to help you in treat specific health issues.
Myth 10: It is sure to work because it has been used for years
The efficacy of some supplements is supported by its market presence for years rather than any clinical evidence. So if you think that you can avail benefits from a product just because it has been popular for ages, this may not be true. The benefits of such products are to be validated by clinical studies so that you can trust them fully.
Debunking these myths and misconceptions about nutritional supplements is important if you want to use them wisely. It is advisable to get medical guidance before using any supplement, particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or are suffering from a chronic health condition.