You turn on your television and you immediately see tons of health supplement advertisements all promising to give you healthier skin, a healthier body, and a stronger set of bones in just one bottle of pills. Seems dreamy and ideal right?
However, is it really worth it? Can it really deliver according to its promises? And how effective is it really? Without a doubt, you might be thinking about dialing the number that flashed across the screen but before you do that, you need to know what you’re going expose your body too.
Here are the pros and cons of taking health supplements:
- They’re convenient
For busy moms and people on the go who don’t have the extra time in the morning to prepare a full breakfast complete with different fruits and vegetables, taking supplements is perhaps the most convenient way of acquiring the vitamins and other nutrients that your body needs in order to function fully. It’s also another way to jump-start your morning by fueling your body with all the nutrients that you need to last all throughout your work schedule and extracurricular activities you have within a day. Supplements save time, and they’re convenient and easy to ingest.
- They give you the nutrients that you need
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of achieving a well-balanced diet is to cram all the needed vegetables, fruits, meat, and carbohydrates that you need in your meal plan. However, that takes so much of your time and it takes a lot of effort to pull off the ideal meal plan that crosses off all of the components in the food pyramid. By taking health supplements, you will be able to achieve a balanced diet because it fills the gap of the food nutrients that you may have missed.
Taking health supplements is also advantageous for people who have certain health conditions. A great example is those who have bone problems. Since supplements are rich in calcium and vitamin D, they can help to strengthen your bones.
- They provide you with protein
Protein is a macronutrient vital in tissue maintenance, supporting growth in your body, and for your immune system. Though protein can be acquired through eating beans and red meat, nowadays, you can easily get it through granola bars, shakes, and whey powders. With health supplements, you can easily get your protein fix with just one tablet, bar, smoothie, or shake a day.
- They are not a complete food substitute
Taking a daily food supplement is not a sufficient substitute for the food that you should be consuming. The health supplements will only magnify the nutrients from the food that you consume but you should not completely rely on them, so it is important that you accompany supplement use with a well-balanced diet.
- Beware of overdoing it
Having too much of something, whether good or bad, is bound to inflict a repercussion on you. Taking too much of health supplements can result in a plethora of other complications that might not have existed in the first place. Among those are:
- birth defects
- reduced bone mineral and density
- liver damage
- hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood)
- Health supplements can be spiked with prescription drugs
Among all the types of health supplements, those for weight loss ranked highest and supplements with sexual enhancement benefits ranked second in having been found with cancer-causing drugs. They also found traces of antidepressant and laxatives in weight loss pills—that is also partly why brain enhancer supplements have never been approved for sale in the US and the UK, as they’ve been known to have serious side effects such as:
- heart failure
- sudden death syndrome
- increased pulse rate
- cause coronary artery disease
- increased blood pressure
What you need to know
Despite the featured pros and cons, however, the FDA does not necessarily approve of these health supplements before they are marketed. Therefore, their effectiveness and safety are not guaranteed because only the manufacturer is responsible in making sure these supplements are safe for the market, are labeled according to the current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) and the labeling regulations.
Indeed, the fact that these health supplements are being embraced by many should not be ignored, however, you should be careful when you decide to commit to daily health supplements. Having your doctor as your supplement investigator will help you in guaranteeing that you’ll be safe in using supplements to meet your daily nutrient needs.
About The Author:
Trevor Gilligan is a writer contributing pieces for Supplement Investigator. His interests lie in the health and nutrition niche, being a fitness enthusiast himself. Trevor strives to provide creative flair in his articles, which he also ensures are informative and entertaining for his readers. He spends his free time painting.