Vitamins – How to Pick the Right Supplement

In order to remain healthy, everybody requires a balance of vital nutrients from different food sources. Sadly, it is not very easy to eat a balanced diet when you are always on the move. That is the reason why a large number of people take vitamins and other supplements in order to fill our body’s vitamin needs.

The market is flooded with different types of herb supplements, multivitamins and botanicals. So, how can you tell if a vitamin supplement is safe or even ideal for you?

10 Important Questions to Ask About Vitamins & Supplements

Even though there are contradictory proof as to whether taking a daily dose of vitamins will keep diseases at bay; a lot of individuals add vitamins to their diet in order to maintain or improve their health.

Are you evaluating vitamins and supplements to add to your diet? Then, here are 10 important questions that you will need to ask your primary health care provider, pharmacist and or licensed dietician:

1. What are the health benefits that this supplement will offer me?
2. Is this supplement important for my health?
3. What is the recommended dosage for this particular supplement?
4. When and for what amount of time do I need to take this supplement?
5. Which will be more effective and most ideal for me – power, syrup/liquid, or pill?
6. Which type of the vitamin (i.e. Vitamin D2 or D3) is the best for me?
7. What are the best brands of this vitamins or supplements on the market?
8. Does this vitamin or supplement have any side effects?
9. Does this supplement interact negatively with any type of food or medications?
10. Will I need to quit using this vitamin or supplement if I have to undergo a surgical procedure?

Which Vitamin Form Should I Choose?

As soon as you are aware of which supplement or vitamin that is ideal for you, you will find that a lot of these supplements can be purchased as powders, pills or syrup/liquids. Basically, the difference between them is simply the rate at which the body can absorb the supplements and how fast the supplements become active. For instance, the body absorbs syrup/liquids faster than pills.

There are certain supplements that come in pill form because when they are exposed to stomach acids, they immediately become ineffective or downright dangerous. Some individuals are required to take liquid if their body finds it rather difficult to absorb supplements or vitamins in pill form.

Not all the formulations of a specific vitamin are actually the same. For instance, vitamin D supplements come as either:

• Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
• Or itamin D2 (ergocalciferol)

According to some preliminary proof, vitamin D3 is known to be the more active type of vitamin D. If you have doubts, simply seek medical advice about which supplement will be ideal for your needs.

Supplement Safety

The FDA regulates dietary supplements, but the agency treats them like foods than treating them like medications.

The makers of supplements do not have to prove that their products are effective or safe like their pharmaceutical drug manufacturing counterparts. However, the FDA has the power to force a supplement out of the market – that is, if there is evidence that the supplement is unsafe. This is a vital point that should be stored at the back of your mind. A particular supplement could be in the market for many years before enough users can experience adverse side effects in order to prove that the supplement is unsafe.

Conduct some research and apply some caution when using supplements. Here are 2 vital safety tips:

• Do you consume a rich balanced diet in fruits, whole grains and veggies? Then you will need to search for multivitamin supplements that offer no higher than a hundred percent of the daily value of most minerals and vitamins.

• Though vitamins are necessary for the body, if the dosage is too much, some vitamins can actually interrupt biochemical pathways. Not taking a high dosage is particularly vital with fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins D, K, E & A – these particular vitamins can be accumulated in the body and even become toxic. (The body expels water soluble vitamins through urine if one takes more than the body requires).

Who Should Stay Away from Supplements and Vitamins?

It is important to understand that supplements should not be taken by people who are diagnosed with certain types of health condition. There are supplements that react with medications. It is always important to seek the advice of a medical doctor prior to adding vitamins or supplement to your diet. Individuals who should stay away from taking certain supplements include:

• Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding; this is because some types of supplements could be harmful to the baby. Recommended prenatal vitamin supplements are ideal for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
• Individuals who are on certain medications, which include diuretics, heart medications, blood thinners, immune suppressing drugs, aspirin and steroids. These medications can cause interactions with some types of herbal pills and other supplements.
• Those who are about to undergo a surgical procedure; this is because there are some supplements that can cause bleeding or other risky complications.
• Individuals who are being treated for cancer or have a family history of cancer; certain supplements could promote the growth of cancerous cells.

4 Valuable Tips for the Cautious Vitamin and Supplement Buyer

When you are ready to buy vitamins and supplements, it is important to keep the following tips at the back of your mind:

1. Search for proof about the product’s efficacy. You can do this using published scientific study resource material on the internet. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) database is a perfect place to conduct your search.
2. If a certain product declares it will provide a “cure” for a disease, has 100% “money-back guarantee or is “100% natural, then you should be on your guard. Any product that sounds just too good to be true is a trap!
3. Pick brands that are branded with the US Pharmacopeia, Consumer lab or NSF International seal. These symbols will signify that the product does contain all the ingredients listed on the product’s label, and it does not contain any impurities or ingredients that are potentially harmful.
4. Be very cautious of supplements that are manufactured outside the US. A lot of these products not regulated and a lot of them may even contain ingredients that are toxic.

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