Dietary supplements are used to maintain good health and alternative forms of medicine. These include, but are not limited to, vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and amino acids.
Many people prefer to take vitamins, minerals and amino acids as supplements, because they do not get enough diet. Herbs are taken in many different forms and are often used to solve specific health problems.
In this post we will look at the different types of dietary supplements in the hope of being useful in choosing the right one for your health.
Caution: because it is possible that there may be negative side effects associated with some dietary supplements, consult a doctor or pharmacist before using it.
Vitamins are the nutrients your body needs for proper health. You need 13 different types of vitamins for your body to control processes such as digestion, cell division and nerve function.
If you are not getting enough of a certain vitamin through your diet, you can take it as a dietary supplement. Water-soluble vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamin C, are absorbed in your system, and additional concentrations are eliminated through your kidneys.
Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins D, E, A and K, are stored in your body to use when you need them. Taking high doses of vitamins can be toxic, so be careful.
Minerals are the types of nutrients that are necessary for your health. You can get them through your diet and take dietary supplements. Your body uses minerals to produce hormones and enzymes that control your metabolism and as electrolytes to balance body fluids.
Macrominerals, such as calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, potassium, and sodium, are minerals that your body needs in large quantities. Tracer minerals, such as chromium, fluoride, iron, iodine and selenium, are nutrients that the body needs only in small concentrations.
Just like the lack of minerals, too many minerals can cause health problems.
Botanicals, also called herbs and phytomedicins, are parts of plants that are used to maintain good health or as alternative forms of medicine. Various herbs have a history of use in traditional medicine and are associated with specific cultural practices.
As food additives, botanicals can be sold as powders, capsules, teas, liquid extracts, tablets, and as raw materials. Ginger and garlic are examples of botanicals whose root extracts are sold as food supplements in the form of tablets.
New herbal supplements are released each year. You should be careful, however, because some of them certainly have side effects. So consult a phalmacologist or dietitian before using it.
Your body uses amino acids to make proteins that need to grow and repair cells. Amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own are called essential because they must come from your diet. You can get amino acids from plant and animal products, as well as through dietary supplements.
Many amino acid supplements are usually sold to athletes to improve athletic performance. For example, tryptophan is stimulated as an amino acid that suppresses pain and glutamine to enhance immune function. However, you should be particularly careful if you are an athlete because some of these supplemental amino acids are forbidden to use during a race.