While supplement labels may tempt you to buy with big promises like “reduce stress” and “better sleep,” it’s important to be skeptical and do some preliminary research to see if a particular ingredient actually delivers on said promises. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not endorse vitamins and supplements; it simply checks manufacturing practices and takes action if a particular supplement becomes a public health problem. So some companies make dubious claims and get away with it. One recent consumer review found this 46 percent supplements not keeping their lofty promises.
Basically, it pays to be skeptical Susan when browsing the supplement aisle at the drugstore. However, in order for everything to a some easier, we talked to a registered dietitian and supplement researcher Anne Danahy, RDNthe founder Craving something healthyand “Kelly LeVeque, holistic health coach and NOW Wellness Expert” to find out which supplements you should add to your cart and how to determine if the product is right for you.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering a Supplement
1. Could I get this vitamin from my diet instead of taking supplements?
Nutritionists love to “eat your vitamins” and Danahy is no exception. “[Everyone] Before they start taking supplements, they should think about whether there are any gaps in their diet that can be filled with food,” says Danahy. “Whole foods contain nutrients in balanced amounts and come in the whole package, with portions of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, and more.” All of these work synergistically in your body, so always start with a well-balanced diet.
In addition, some people may find it difficult to meet their needs through diet alone, whether due to a medical condition (e.g. Celiac disease) or their specific meal plan. For example, vegans have limited sources of brain-boosting B12 because it is mostly found in animal food. In such cases, supplements can be extremely helpful in filling nutritional gaps. Pregnant women should also use it folic acid supplement and other prenatal vitamins help your baby develop and reduce the risk of birth defects.
2. What makes you interested in this particular supplement?
You may have heard it 5-HTP can help calm you down when you are mostly stress or something melatonin can support a good night’s sleep. While there’s often some evidence to support these touted benefits, it’s important to make sure you consider lifestyle factors that may also be contributing to these problems, Danahy says. For example, if your job keeps you busy 24/7, you can try stress management strategies such as exercise, meditation, gardening, or read before reaching for the supplement? If the answer is no, that’s perfectly fine, but the question is worth asking.
3. What can my family history tell me about which supplements might benefit me?
“Even if someone is in good health, I would recommend assessing their risk for certain health conditions because of their lifestyle or family history,” says Danahy. “For example, someone with a family history of heart disease who is starting to get high blood pressure might want to think about omega-3 fish oil, beetroot powder, or certain antioxidants.
If this sounds like you, ask your doctor what they think about supplementation based on your personal family history. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation.
4 Supplements to Take According to a Dietitian and Dietitian
1. Vitamin D
According to Danahy, most people can benefit from vitamin D. “It’s hard to get enough from your diet unless you’re eating a lot of salmon, egg yolks, and fortified milk,” she says. “It’s also a vitamin that most people are not deficient in, but many people’s levels are suboptimalVitamin D has many important functions, including helping the body absorb calcium (which is very important for bone health), reduces inflammation and promoting mental well-being. In other words, it is very important and worth thinking about.
Recommended daily rate: 600-800 TV per day (15-20 mcg).
If you’re living and breathing right now, you’ve probably heard the hype about omega-3s. “Omega-3 or fish oil is another product that I often recommend to older people helps lower blood pressure and triglyceridesbut I also like it because it’s supportive cognitive health and has an anti-inflammatory effect” says Danahy. She warns eat sources of omega-3– such as salmon, sardines and oily fish two or three times a week – will still be a better choice than a dietary supplement.
“[Magnesium] involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body, helping to support everything from bones and muscles to glucose and blood pressure to DNA and RNA synthesis,” says Danahy. “You can use it anytime, but some people feel it. helps to relax in the evening if they take after dinner“The mineral is there also essential for heart health because it supports nerve, cell and muscle health. She recommends magnesium glycinate, a form of magnesium it is a little easier for the body to absorb. (FYI, magnesium is found in foods including spinach, black beans and almonds.)
Recommended daily dose: 310-360 milligrams per day for women (depending on age and pregnancy), and for men – 400-420 milligrams (depending on age).
LeVeque is a big fan of multivitamins to cover all your bases. They can be a good way to get a variety of macro and micronutrients without paying for individual vitamins.
But there’s a caveat: Multivitamins come in a variety of forms, so you’ll need to consult your doctor, nutritionist, or other trusted health professional about which blend is right for you, based on factors like your age, diet, medications, and whether you’re pregnant. Harvard Health recommends reading the label and choosing one that lists your recommended daily intake of various vitamins and minerals and the label bears the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal of approval (an indication of the purity and strength of a particular vitamin).
Recommended daily dose: Varies by vitamin.
In short, supplements are not as simple as they seem. So, if you have long-term questions, be sure to consult your primary care physician. It’s not worth spending a lot at the drugstore if it doesn’t make a big difference to your daily health and well-being.