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Quick Guide for using Supplements

Since I became a Nutrition Consultant, a common question is 'What supplements should I take?"

"You can call anything a dietary supplement, even something you grow in your backyard" ~ Donna Porter, RD PhD. Congressional Research Service.

People often take supplements as an insurance policy against problems caused by poor diets. Although multivitamins and mineral supplements may help fill in some of the nutrition gaps caused by poor food habits, they cannot make a lousy diet good.

Dietary supplements come in many forms:

  • Vitamins and minerals (Vit C, E, selenium)

  • Herbs(botanicals) (Dong Quai, ginseng

  • Proteins and amino acids (Shark cartilage, creatine)

  • Fats (Fish oils, DHA)

  • Other plant extracts (Garlic capsules, fiber, cranberry)

Adding supplements to your diet should be a personal choice. Unfortunately, many advertisements for supplements will provide information and health claims that are not approved and most likely have no scientific research to back them up.

It is wise to research on your own before quickly deciding that a supplement is right for you.

When purchasing a supplement, finding out who makes the product is good. What research has been done? What types of side effects may the product have? What is the dose of the product needed to achieve the health benefits?