by Melissa Chichester
Supplement bottles have directions for use in addition to the Recommended Daily Value or Daily Value. These values serve as a guideline for use.
While vitamins and minerals can support many aspects of health, more isn’t always better. Some nutrients can have detrimental effects when they are consumed in large amounts.
So how can you take supplements safely? Here are four tips for taking supplements safely.
Although most supplements don’t require a prescription, it is important to discuss what vitamins you’re taking with your personal physician. Your doctor can run blood tests to determine deficiencies and make recommendations based on any medications you are taking.
Doctors may also make suggestions based on your specific health needs. Even if you aren’t taking medications and you’re in good health, it’s still a good idea to talk to your doctor about supplements. Many doctors today request that you bring all medications and supplements with you to your appointment.
Always take supplements based on the directions on the label. Certain supplements may need to be taken with food for the best absorption, such as fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamin D. Some nutrients may impact the efficacy of medications and shouldn’t be taken together. You can talk to your doctor about these interactions.
In addition to following the directions on the label, watch out for misleading claims. Supplements can help – but beware of unrealistic results and promises that sound too good to be true. These claims are not only misleading but can also be dangerous.
Supplements are not a substitute for a nutritious diet. The best way to get the right amount of nutrients you need is through a healthy diet. Supplements can help bridge the gap for nutrients that are more difficult to receive, such as Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. However, the best way to get vitamins and minerals is by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats.
Health and wellness trends will come and go. You may notice a friend or someone you follow on social media promoting a dietary supplement with big claims. That doesn’t mean the supplement is right for you. Your health and wellness needs are unique to you.
Taking too many supplements can do more harm than good. For the best results, stick to the recommended guidelines and seek to get vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food first. Then add supplements to your routine by working with a doctor.