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Dietary supplements: what and when to take them

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Published on Aug 12, 2019

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Dietary supplements: what and when to take them? Are they useful? Can have side-effects? More and more italians who resort to the use of dietary supplements thinking to help improve your health, but what is there to know to get it right? We provide you with a practical guide on the use of dietary supplements.

When we talk about diet often pay much attention to the breakdown of macros (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates), without, however, giving too much importance to vitamins and minerals. It is thought that “so just take a supplement and everything is solved”. Dietary supplements are, in fact, are concentrated sources of vitamins and minerals (or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect) marketed in preparations such as pills, tablets, capsules, liquids or powders to dissolve in water. Dietary supplements can contain a wide variety of nutrients and other ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, fibre and various plants and herbal extracts.

Their purpose is to make up for a nutritional deficiency, to maintain an adequate intake of certain nutrients or to support specific physiological functions. Are not medicinal products but must be taken only in case of real need and under the guidance of qualified personnel (doctor, pharmacist, or herbalist). As the word says supplements are used precisely to integrate in the case of a deficiency assessment should not be undertaken without knowledge of the facts.

Food supplements are considered food products and their role is to supplement the common diet. For this reason they are not considered drugs and are very often taken not so much on the advice of qualified personnel, but thanks to word of mouth or on the advice of friends and acquaintances.

According to recent surveys, 32 million italians use supplements and almost 18% trusting word-of-mouth or advice read in magazines or on the web. And, in fact, supplements can really make an important contribution where there are deficiencies of various kinds. However, it is equally important that the consumer is responsible and aware, better if under doctor's advice.

What is the function of an integrator? Being a concentrate of vitamins, minerals and nutrients can be very useful. In trade, you can find preparations that include a single vitamin or mix of more vitamins and minerals. The main functions of the supplements are:

We have said that the food supplements should be used as a necessary complement in the regimes, nutrient-poor foods. This means that they should not be the first choice but should be taken only in case of deficiencies. First it is important to adopt a healthy diet and varied as possible. It can, however, happen that a proper diet is not enough. The warm, excessive sweating, a period of illness or particular fatigue may make it very useful in the intake of dietary supplements.

The important thing is to follow the advice of a qualified staff and be careful not to fall into excesses, especially because taking excessive vitamins and minerals can give rise to reactions that are harmful to health.

Not to mention the fact that recourse to the supplements often becomes an excuse to continue with bad habits and you get to think that it is enough to take a fat burner for weight loss and neglecting diet and sport, take a antioxidant to offset the damage of smoking, or take a multi-vitamin without take fruit and vegetables.
Of course, to stay well serve, instead:

The do-it-yourself, it can even be dangerous if you do not know the correct dosage of vitamins and minerals to take. Not to mention that, even the over the counter products such as food supplements can have interactions with medicines or other supplements you are taking.

The most important advice then is, as always, to consult your doctor or a specialist in food science (nutritionist, dietician, or dietician) to be sure not to take drugs in wrong dosages is not suitable,

In addition to the dosage correct is important to make reference to the products of the known companies that can offer the greatest guarantee of quality and ensure compliance of production processes. It can be very useful to the Decalogue for a correct use of food supplements prepared by the Ministry of Health accessible on the website of the same Ministry.

The dietary supplements on the market are of different types and not always easy to find the way among the many proposed. However, they are classified in:

The dietary supplements most common that you can find in the market are:

In may 2018, the group of scientific experts on EFSA's panel on food additives and nutrient sources added to food (ANS panel) has adopted a guide to the evaluation of nutrient sources and the bioavailability of the nutrient from the sources.

In December 2017, EFSA published the Summary report on Dietary Reference Values for nutrients. In the same year, EFSA published the Overview on with regard to the Upper Intake Levels as derived by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) and the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA).

It is always good to inquire but, before buying a supplement, it is always advisable to contact doctors and pharmacists who specialize in herbal medicine or an herbalist in possession of the appropriate degree.

The article dietary Supplements: what and when to take it comes from Workout-Italy.

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