The Benefits and the Risks of Dietary Supplements

The Benefits and the Risks of Dietary Supplements


While dietary supplements have no approved therapeutic claims, these can prove to be beneficial in the long run if you are consistent and know when to use them

The attitude towards dietary supplements, also known as food supplements, tends to be flippant. This industry yields great profits because many adults think that taking multivitamins or mineral capsules everyday is enough to substitute for an active lifestyle and a balanced diet. However, that’s not the case, and thoughts of such supplements as miracle pills are likely a result of successful marketing.

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As the name suggests, dietary supplements exist to simply supplement what is already naturally produced by your body and your diet. This is where such supplements become important to some people because they could take them to compensate for real deficiencies. For the others who do not have the deficiencies that correlate to a specific supplement, they could instead be creating a placebo effect, which means that feelings of healthiness aren’t rooted in reality. Not only that but unknowingly taking too many of a specific vitamin can lead to real risks such as nerve damage and strokes.

Notably, certain multivitamins can prove to be beneficial in the long run in terms of cancer prevention among men. And by long, we mean that men can see results 11 years down the line. This study by Harvard researchers concluded that “daily multivitamin supplementation modestly but significantly reduced the risk of total cancer” among American men, but that daily multivitamin supplementation has no significant effect on site-specific cancers. Additionally, there was no significant difference in the risk of cancer mortality between the men taking the daily multivitamins and the men who were only taking placebo groups.

People with certain medical conditions could also greatly benefit from dietary supplements. At the top of this list are people with nutritional deficiencies such as Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. Additionally, probiotic food supplements can relieve those who suffer from chronic constipation, diarrhea, and other signs of gastrointestinal distress. 

That being said, the fact of the matter is that unless you get expert medical recommendations to take dietary supplements to treat real deficiencies, avoid supplements for now. Instead, invest in healthy food to naturally absorb vitamins and minerals to sustain your already healthy body. To be sure that you don’t need dietary supplements like multivitamins and probiotics, consult your doctor and flesh out a customized wellness plan if needed.

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