Dietary Supplements: Are they really HELPFUL or HARMFUL?

sup

Dietary supplements are widely used and include minerals, vitamins, and other less familiar substances such as amino acids, enzymes, herbals and botanicals. Please note the following about them:

  • Many people take supplements regularly to ensure an adequate intake of essential nutrients. That is fine. However, supplements should not be taken as substitute for eating the variety of foods that make up a healthy diet.

bb

Take home: always eat a balanced diet and fruits, whether you’re on supplements or not

  • Some consumers may believe that because a dietary supplement such as an herbal supplement or fish oil is called a “natural” product, it can’t hurt them. Well, natural doesn’t always mean safe. Moreover, the ingredients in a supplement may interact (by increasing or decreasing the effect) with medications that you need and may be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions. For example, each of Warfarin (a prescription blood thinner), ginkgo biloba (a widely marketed herbal supplement), aspirin and vitamin E (a supplement) can thin the blood. Taking any of these products together may increase the potential for internal bleeding or stroke.

  • Children, in particular could be harmed by taking both supplements and medicines as it increases the risk of an adverse event. Their metabolism is so unique, and at different ages, they metabolize substances at different rates.

waa1

Take home: seek medical advice before taking supplements (especially if you have a medical condition)


Seek advice from your pharmacist/doctor before taking supplements with your medications


Seek advice from your pharmacist/doctor before buying supplements for anyone you care about (especially if the person has a medical condition)

Conclusively, the question, “Dietary Supplements: Are they really HELPFUL or HARMFUL?” They are very helpful when properly taken.

 

Related literature

Publication by Bushra et.al. (2011) in Oman Medical Journal (doi:10.5001/omj.2011.21): “The effect of drug on a person may be different than expected because that drug interacts with another drug the person is taking (drug-drug interaction), dietary supplements the person is consuming (drug-nutrient/food interaction) or another disease the person has (drug-disease interaction)”

 

You may like

How ginger affects your drugs

Why one drug brand may work better than another

The difference you should know: Diclofenac Potassium and Diclofenac Sodium

Are you really protected? The morning after SEX drug for men

Use of Closeup, Colgate, Pepsodent and other fluoride toothpastes – what you should know

8 thoughts on “Dietary Supplements: Are they really HELPFUL or HARMFUL?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s