DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The majority of adults in the United States take one or more dietary supplements either every day or occasionally. Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms: traditional tablets, capsules, and powders, as well as drinks and energy bars. Popular supplements include vitamins D and E; minerals like calcium and iron; herbs such as echinacea and garlic; and specialty products like glucosamine, probiotics, and fish oils.
The Dietary Supplement Label
All products labeled as a dietary supplement carry a Supplement Facts panel that lists the contents, amount of active ingredients per serving, and other added ingredients (like fillers, binders, and flavorings).
If you don’t eat a nutritious variety of foods, some supplements might help you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients. However, supplements can’t take the place of the variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet. Scientific evidence shows that some dietary supplements are beneficial for overall health and for managing some health conditions. For example, calcium and vitamin D are important for keeping bones strong and reducing bone loss; folic acid decreases the risk of certain birth defects; and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils might help some people with heart disease.
Talk with Your Health Care Provider
Let your health care providers (including doctors, pharmacists, and dietitians) know which dietary supplements you’re taking so that you can discuss what’s best for your overall health. Your health care provider can help you determine which supplements, if any, might be valuable for you. You can also bring the products you use with you when you see your health care provider.
Are Prescription Drugs Depleting Necessary Vitamins and Minerals From Your Body?
Stop by our pharmacy to pick up our free Consumer’s Guide to Nutritional Supplements
We have a wide variety of nutritional supplements on sale this month at Walker’s Drug Store! We would love to help answer any questions you have about your supplement needs.
Owner, Pharmacist – Walkers Drug Store
This article was originally written by the National Institutes of Health