Nutritional supplements are products that are added to the diet to provide essential nutrients. They come in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, gummies, powders, energy drinks, and bars. Popular supplements include vitamins D and B12, minerals such as calcium and iron, herbs such as echinacea and garlic, and products such as glucosamine, probiotics, and fish oils. Nutritional supplements can provide nutrients extracted from food or synthetic sources to increase the amount of your intake.
The class of nutritional compounds includes vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, and amino acids. Dietary supplements may also contain substances that have not been confirmed to be essential for life, but that are marketed as having a beneficial biological effect, such as plant pigments or polyphenols. Animals can also be a source of supplement ingredients, such as collagen from chickens or fish. They are also sold individually and in combination, and can be combined with nutritious ingredients. The European Commission has also established harmonized standards to help ensure that food supplements are safe and properly labeled.
They can be designed for people with special needs or for people with diseases that may affect digestion capacity and nutritional requirements. Consumers can make wise decisions about nutritional supplementation by consulting professional nutritionists and naturopathic doctors. It's best to add nutritional supplements to the diet slowly, starting with small doses and increasing until you reach the amounts recommended by manufacturers over time. Some nutritional supplements can cause stomach discomfort and allergic reactions, such as skin rashes, hot flashes, nausea, sweating, and headaches. Some studies show that multivitamins may contribute to increasing the risk of excessive nutrient intake. Supplemental products are or contain vitamins, nutritionally essential minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and non-nutritive substances extracted from plants or animals, fungi or bacteria or, in the case of probiotics, are living bacteria.
Some dietary supplements can help you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients if you don't eat a variety of nutritious foods. Taking into account average dietary needs and the prevalence of certain health conditions, some basic guidelines may provide the basis for the effective use of nutritional supplements. Healthy eating habits can help optimize nutrition and supplement absorption, and nutritional supplements cannot replace a diet that is not nutritionally balanced. Nine of these proteinogenic amino acids are considered essential for humans because the human body cannot produce them from other compounds and must therefore be ingested as food. Overeating inhibits digestion and nutrient absorption, while regular exercise contributes to good nutrition by improving metabolism and digestion. For example, some nutritional supplements recommended for nervous system function may not be recommended for those taking pharmaceutical antidepressants. To avoid unfavorable interactions, it is best to use nutritional supplements moderately and individually rather than taking handfuls of capsules and tablets for various needs and conditions at the same time. While prenatal vitamins are not intended to replace dietary nutrition, prenatal supplementation may be beneficial for pregnant women who are at risk of suffering from nutrient deficiencies due to dietary limitations or restrictions.
There is little evidence of benefits when people who are healthy and have a nutritionally adequate diet consume vitamins as a dietary supplement.