Nutritional supplements are products used to enhance the diet and often contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, or amino acids. They are often associated with alternative medicine, which encompasses a wide range of medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not considered part of conventional medicine. In this article, we will explore the main types of nutritional supplements available, including herbal medicines, vitamins and minerals, and homeopathic remedies. We will also discuss the sources from which these supplements can be purchased, as well as the factors to consider when selecting them.
Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron; botanical products or herbs such as echinacea and ginger; botanical compounds such as caffeine and curcumin; and amino acids such as tryptophan and glutamine are all common ingredients in nutritional supplements. Many adults and children in the United States take one or more vitamins or other dietary supplements. These come in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, gummies and powders, as well as 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. When selecting dietary supplements, it is important to consider how these factors will align with your individual preferences, lifestyle, and wellness regime.
Consumers are expected to report directly to the FDA about possible adverse effects related to supplements. Implementing current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) for the dietary supplement industry in the United States was expected to help solve some of these problems. Liquid supplements include a variety of products, such as vitamin D drops, other liquid vitamins, liquid melatonin, and liquid iron supplements. Polypharmacy with nutritional supplements should be avoided just as polypharmacy with medications in CP and end of life care (EOL) can increase the burden on the patient without any significant benefit. The classification of a product as a dietary supplement depends on its intended use, the details of which can sometimes be derived from the information on the product label. Multivitamin and multimineral supplements may also contain calcium, although often in smaller amounts.
During product development, supplement manufacturers consider many factors when selecting delivery methods. The Federal Trade Commission, which oversees product advertising, also requires that information about a complementary product be truthful and not misleading. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) recently published a survey that indicated that approximately 68 percent of all adults in the United States say that they take dietary supplements on a regular basis. Nutritional supplements and antacid medications can significantly contribute to calcium intake for some people. In addition, dietary supplements should not include chemical compounds that have been approved as drugs or authorized as biological products unless the compound was previously marketed as a dietary supplement or food. It has been estimated that among supplement users in the U. S., who represent approximately 20% of the population, consume an average of 300 mg of calcium per day in the form of supplements.
Supplements can be purchased at a number of sources including retail stores such as pharmacies, health food stores or grocery stores. Nutritional supplements can also be obtained directly from health care providers who prescribe their use including some naturopaths, doctors of Chinese medicine homeopaths chiropractors and doctors.