At any given point in our lives, there are parts of our body that need a little more love and attention, or a boost of extra nourishment. And while good diet and exercise are often the best forms of medicine, nutritional supplements can act as an insurance plan for your health, providing you dietary support in areas of need.
When it comes to nutritional supplements, it can be difficult to know which ones to take as there are tens of thousands of promising options. Some may sound great for you from the surface but contain unintended side-effects that may affect your body in the long-run.
Rather than listen to the sales person’s advice or choosing a supplement based on the number of Google Reviews, here are 5 essential things you should do before taking new supplements:
Thinking of taking a new supplement? Make sure you speak with your doctor before purchasing the new product. Whether its minerals or vitamins, natural or synthetic, it’s important to give your doctor a visit for several reasons:
Today, there are many different forms of supplements available for purchase online and in-stores. Some of the options include capsules, tablets, tinctures, liquids, powders, gummies, and topical creams. But which form of supplement is the best?
This depends on two main factors:
First, you must consider the health of your body. If you have difficulties digesting food or minerals, you might want to try capsules or liquids rather than a hard tablet. This is because capsules are more easily digestible and is thus a more palatable way of consuming the supplement. Similarly, liquids and powders are a better alternative for those who struggle with pills.
Also, some supplements are better taken in certain forms over another due to certain characteristics like taste or intensity. Bitter supplements (such as goldenseal or yarrow) are best in capsule form in order to prevent the unpleasant taste. Most B-complex vitamins have unpleasant tastes and are commonly found in capsule form.
Some botanical products are best taken in the form of an herbal tea. For example, mint, chamomile, ginger, and licorice. These supplements generally have calming effects that are amplified when consumed in the form of tea. Chamomile, for instance, when taken as a tea can produce a relaxing effect on the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. However, if taken in capsule form, chamomile may only benefit the stomach.
Other compounds, like omega-3 fats, are best taken in liquid form rather than capsules for greater intensity. For example, one tablespoon of High Lignan Flax Oil offers around 7,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats, whereas one capsule of the same oil will provide just 1,000 milligrams.
Some dietary supplements may increase the effects of certain medications, while other dietary supplements may decrease it. In other words, some combinations of medications and nutritional supplements just don’t mix well.
For example, medication for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), depression, heart disease, and birth control are less effective when combined with St. John’s Wort, an herbal supplement.
Furthermore, the National Capital Poison Center advised people taking blood thinners like Advil and Warfarin to stay away from ginkgo biloba (an herbal supplement) and other supplements like primrose and licorice. Combining these supplements will increase the potential for internal bleeding or stroke.
Some combination of medications simply reduces the effectiveness of the drug and/or supplement, while other combinations can lead to dangerous and even life-threating effects. Speak with your doctor and pharmacist to avoid dangers.
Before deciding on any herbal supplement, make sure you conduct thorough research. Here are some considerations:
When you walk into a vitamin store, you’ll notice hundreds of herbal supplements and vitamins with different ingredients, amounts, and sourcing, and available in every imaginable shape, size, and color. But not all vitamins are created equal. Some are really high-quality while others are produced with cheap ingredients. Why is this?
Compared to pharmaceutical drugs sold at pharmacies, herbal supplements are loosely regulated by government agencies. Law prohibits manufacturers from selling adulterated or mislabeled products. but there is little oversight to ensure compliance. To ensure you are purchasing only high-quality natural products, here are several things to consider:
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