Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's Eating You? Day 7 Dietary Supplements: Are They Good or Bad?

There has been much debate about the necessity and safety of taking dietary supplements. The FDA doesn't regulate them, so professionals in traditional medicine don't recommend taking them over the counter. But, there are strong arguments in favor of them because of declining food quality. For any number of reasons, one may experience periods in his/her life where the body is deficient of certain vitamins and minerals. Age is certainly a factor as every stage of development has different requirements. Pregnant women may need iron and folic acid. Vegetarians may lack protein. High-performance athletes may require potassium or calcium. Those with chronic illnesses may require a variety of vitamins and minerals. So should supplements be taken daily? If so, what kinds and how much?

Many people make the mistake of treating symptoms as singular occurances as opposed to part of the whole body. Before taking a dietary supplement, see your doctor for a complete physical and nutritional panel which will identify any health problems and nutritional deficiencies. Make changes in your diet to replenish what is lacking. If supplementation is recommended to you, be sure to select whole food supplements and follow the dosage guidelines. Toxicity will result if excess amounts of a supplement are consumed. Therefore, adjust your diet first and then be careful to monitor the kinds and amounts of any supplements you take.

Be good to yourself! More next time...

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