What Are Dietary Supplements?

It may sound like a simple question, but just how much do you know about dietary supplements? What even are dietary supplements? Is it necessary for everyone to take them? Let’s discuss — especially if you’re thinking of buying vitamins and supplements online.

What supplements are

In brief, dietary supplements are substances that can boost your body’s supply of nutrients. These nutrients are crucial to supporting all kinds of bodily processes as well as the health of your bones and organs — your hair and skin, too! As we discussed in our post, “How Long Do Supplements Stay in Your System?” some of these nutrients and vitamins are produced naturally by our bodies. However, sometimes we don’t have enough of them.

The biggest reason individuals turn to supplements is to support a diet that may not supply every vitamin needed. Which is understandable — it’s difficult to eat healthy all the time. It can be even harder for some people, as food allergies and sensitivities as well as poor selection can make optimal diets difficult.

Another key reason why people turn to supplements is that certain ones can even help ward off certain health issues, like arthritis and osteoporosis, for example. This becomes especially important as we get older. In fact, adults over 50 need to be more mindful of their intake of certain vitamins, particularly calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. However, as we’ll discuss in the following section, there are plenty of things that supplements cannot do.

What supplements are not

Even though we briefly talked about how the right supplements may help prevent certain health conditions — they aren’t foolproof. In fact, have you ever considered how powerful your body’s immune system is? While there are some supplements that can give your immune system a boost, you are your own best defense.

Though supplements can have enormous positive impacts, especially when recommended by your health provider, they can’t do more than you can on your own. If you’re hoping to improve your overall health — whether that means you want to raise your endurance or even shed a few pounds — you shouldn’t hesitate to add in a supplement.

However, make sure you’re doing the basics, like trying to improve your diet (if even just one meal at a time) as well as trying to get some exercise each day. You should also try to get enough sleep each night and find enjoyable ways to manage stress. You may also be interested in the best vitamins to prepare for flu season.

Finding the right dietary supplements for you

To find the right supplements for you, it’s important to involve your health provider in the discussion. He or she can recommend certain brands or formulas that will suit you best. You should follow his or her advice first, so you can be sure not to take anything that will interact with any other medications you’re on or with any conditions you may have.

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