Dietary supplements are designed to augment your daily intake of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Many are safe and offer significant health benefits. Dietary supplements include amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes etc.
What can be the benefits of dietary supplements?
You should be able to get all the nutrients you need from a balanced diet. Although, supplements can provide you with extra nutrients when your diet is lacking or certain health conditions trigger a deficiency. Most of the time, a multivitamin/mineral supplement will provide all the micronutrients your body needs. They are generally safe because they contain small amounts of each nutrient. Nutrients are also available as supplements individually, usually in doses larger than your typical multivitamin. These supplements can be used to treat a deficiency such as an iron deficiency or reduce the risk of a medical condition, such as hypertension.
Unless a specific deficiency is identified, a supplement is usually not necessary if you eat and exercise properly. The adequate use of supplements can help you avoid side effects and toxicities associated with overuse.It totally makes sense to supplement the diet with essential nutrients if the food in the diet is deficient in these nutrients normally. There are specific situations where that applies, such as providing vitamins and minerals to bariatric surgery patients whose digestive functions are compromised. It is a well-known fact that “food is medicine” but there are very few situations where the evidence shows that specific nutrients are useful as medicine.