Ebony M. Dean
January 27, 2013
Dietary Supplement Report
Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs and other substances meant to improve your diet. They can come in pill form, capsules, powders and liquids. Supplements do not have to go through testing that drugs do. Some supplements can play an important role in your health. For example, pregnant women take the vitamin folic acid to prevent certain birth defects in their babies. Taking any kind of supplements can also be a type of complementary or alternative medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate dietary supplements in the same way that it regulates medicine. A dietary supplement can be sold without research on how well it works.
The benefit of taking dietary supplements is that they are designed to augment your daily intake of nutrients. Normally, you should be able to get all the nutrients you need from a well balanced diet. However, taking supplements can provide additional nutrients when your diet is lacking or when certain health conditions cause you to develop an insufficiency or deficiency.
Multiple-vitamin supplements provide all the basic vitamins and minerals your body needs. These vitamins are generally safe because they only contain small amounts of each nutrient. Individual nutrients can also be sold as a dietary supplement, but in larger amounts than what’s found in a typical multiple-vitamin. These supplements may be used to treat a simple deficiency, such as an iron deficiency, but sometimes they’re used therapeutically to treat specific health conditions or risk factors. For example, large doses of niacin may be used to raise good cholesterol, and folic acid has been used to reduce the risk of a birth defect called spina bifida. The risk of taking dietary supplements is that some contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some...