What are dietary supplements?
Dietary Supplements are products intended to help people intake specific nutrients to keep a more healthy state of life, especially when the nutritional ingredients cannot meet the body needs purely relying on absorption from the regular diet.
Along with the continuous improvement of living conditions, people care more and more about their life quality. They practice physical building, eat organic food, manage nutrition intake. Advancement of modern science and technology makes people know more about their body conditions. People are more willing to spend time and money on self-improvement. The market of dietary supplements grows rapidly under this background. Based on statistics, the nutritional supplements market have reached more than 36 billion US dollars in 2017 compared with about 17 billion in 2000. And in China, the nutritional supplements market have increased to more than 40 billion US dollars in 2017, nearly doubled in 4 years.
Do we need them?
It’s not an easy question.
Dietary supplements are not must-have foods. They are not indispensable for human living. Without them, you won’t feel hungry or thirsty. And they are not used to cure certain illnesses like medicine. In the long history, the concept of dietary supplements emerged very late. The ancients never thought about eat some supplements, even some of the foods or herbs can be considered as natural supplements based on today’s point of view.
The dietary supplements are more about the intentional self-improvement, potential health issue prevention, and nutrition balancing. People take Vitamin C to increase immunity, drink bodybuilding supplements to be more spirit, get minerals supplements to prevent insufficiency. Young kids usually take some Calcium pills to aid growth, and pregnant women always take folic acid for the healthy growth of the baby.
It’s really hard to say supplements is really needed or not. There is no obvious red line. However, sustaining a scientific balancing of the body’s nutrients, and intaking certain nutrients or ingredients corresponding to the body’s index can always give a promising results for a quality life.
Are they safe?
The safety issues of dietary supplements are major concerns. They are not food, but even food at excessive amount can do harm to human health. At this stance, always take supplements when you really need them or for a specific goal. When you meet the pre-set goal, stop using them and never consider them the same as everyday diets.
There is another thing about supplement safety that you should be noted. Different from medicine, dietary supplements are not strictly regulated. The ingredients and the effects on the label are not guaranteed as medicine. Some laboratory tests indicated that some supplements even had harmful elements such as lead. This is why you should check the brand authority, recent reports and feedbacks of a particular supplement before use. Hintofhome.com aims to provide you with relatively neutral information through hours’ and days’ work of collecting and analyzing information about supplements on the market.
Besides, the safety issue is not isolated. Your health condition, your regular diet, and the medicine you are using, etc. can either interact with the supplement you are about to take, causing potential and complex safety issues. Thus, do not hesitate to consult your doctor or a medical professional for a customized suggestion on whether you could use a specific supplement or not.
Classification of dietary supplements
There are different kinds of classification of dietary supplements.
- By ingredients: Botanicals, Vitamins, Dietary Minerals, Proteins and Amino Acids, Enzymes, etc.
- By function: Health issues prevention, Growth, Recovery, etc.
- By target group of people: Kids, Pregant women, Students, Adults, Old people, etc.
- By form: Pills, Capsules, Herbal extracts, Tablets, etc.
- By potential risk and benefits: Scores of 1-12, see here