Consulting your healthcare provider before taking dietary supplements to treat a health condition is essential. It is important to get approval from your healthcare provider before taking dietary supplements instead of or in combination with prescription drugs. Research has demonstrated that certain supplements may be beneficial for health in various ways. The most popular nutritional supplements are multivitamins, calcium, and vitamins B, C and D.
Calcium helps to maintain bone health and vitamin D assists the body in absorbing calcium. Vitamins C and E are antioxidant molecules that protect cells from damage and help maintain overall health. It is important to remember that dietary supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or alleviate the effects of diseases, despite what the supplement manufacturer may claim. For this reason, many cancer experts advise people to avoid taking dietary supplements while undergoing cancer treatment. The effects of many supplements have not been evaluated in children, pregnant women and other groups.
Previous studies have suggested that men who take vitamin E supplements may have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, enzymes, amino acids, or other dietary ingredients. Taking too much of a supplement can lead to toxic levels which can damage organs and interfere with certain medications. In the case of children, taking dietary supplements together with other medications can lead to adverse events. Before buying any supplement, it is important to read a list of frequently asked questions to make sure you are buying a product that will benefit your health rather than harm it.
It is also recommended to talk to your health care team before taking large doses of any vitamin, mineral, or other supplement. Unlike drug manufacturers, supplement manufacturers do not have to prove that their products are safe or effective before selling them on the market. This site includes fact sheets and videos on dietary supplements for the public, educators, and health professionals. However, dietary supplements are not completely safe and taking them can pose risks, especially for people being treated for cancer. Of the supplements that are not derived from vitamins and minerals, Hopp states that “fish oil probably has the most scientific evidence to support its use”.
Dietary supplements are widely used and include vitamins, minerals, and other lesser-known substances such as amino acids, botanicals, and botanical ingredients.