A recent annual report by the Council for Responsible Nutrition shows that the overall usage of diet supplements hit a historical high in 2019. It is clear that Americans need diet supplements, and that the supplements make them feel better and healthier.
However, supplements are a type of medicine, and reading something nice about it on an online forum isn’t enough. Not every supplement suits everybody. Unless appropriate to your body’s condition and metabolism, supplements can even cause imbalances.
So, how do you know a supplement is right for you? In order to get the right answer to that question, you need a doctor and a couple of laboratory and blood test results. Still, there are some general guidelines for you to think about before you decide on your next diet supplement.
Know Your Condition
Our bodies regularly change all the time, depending on:
- Age – babies need a regular intake of calcium and vitamin B to grow healthy and strong. Also, as we get older, our bodies synthesize less and less vitamin D, which is crucial for our immune response
- Pregnancy – Women who are with child or are trying to get pregnant usually have to take additional folic acid or iron supplements for their and baby’s health
- Type of diet – a body will need different supplements depending on the nutrition it gets (or doesn’t get). For example, vegans need a specific mix of probiotics and supplements in order to make up for the B12 deficiency
On the other hand, there is a previous medical condition and any medication you might be taking. If properly understood, the disease is much more than an unpleasant condition. It is a message from the body, telling you what it lacks and what it needs. Understanding that message will help you learn many things, including which diet supplement you need.
Some of the medical conditions that might require special attention and supplements are:
- Cardiac disease
- Coeliac disease
- Proton pump inhibitors – disturb the absorption of vitamin B12
- Cholangiocarcinoma, or any other cancer and serious medical condition for that matter
- Liver disease
- Autoimmune disorder
If you have a previous medical condition, it is best to consult a doctor before starting with a diet supplement. They will probably run some tests to make sure you don’t take something that will cause more problems than benefits.
Finally, you might need a special supplementation to your diet in case you:
- Had a surgery
- Have allergies
- Encounter severe hair loss
- Have painful joints
- Have irregular heartbeat
- Are too tired
- Have wounds that heal too slowly
- Are obese.
Know the Supplement
Some of the most popular diet supplements are:
- Vitamin D
But, as you enter a store, you will see there are dozens if not hundreds of brands and combinations. So, now that you know what your body needs, you just have to pick a good quality producer.
Here are some experienced tips that will help you navigate through the vast market of diet supplements.
1. Read and do a research on the ingredients
Make sure to read and research on each and every ingredient you can find on the label. This is important, as it will help you thoroughly understand what you are taking into your body.
2. Try to find the reviews
It would be best to find reviews and ratings from people who used the supplement before. Although a negative review doesn’t mean the supplement would be bad for you as well, if you see too many negative comments, it is logical to assume there’s something wrong.
3. Skip the advertising
Just like in life, bold promises are usually empty ones. Miracles aren’t what supplements do. On the contrary, they only help your body, and usually need a lot of time to take effect.
4. Keep an eye on bioavailability
Just because a bag or a pill has magnesium in it, it doesn’t mean your body can absorb it. Actually, absorbing vitamins and other nourishing elements is a matter of complex body metabolism. The best producers sell supplements that are easy to digest and absorb.
5. Price tag
Although it isn’t a rule, a product that is too cheap might be problematic. On the other hand, the fact that a supplement is expensive doesn’t guarantee it will help.
Therefore, make sure to thoroughly research brands and consult your doctor, so that you don’t have to waste money and time on supplements that aren’t good for you.