Natural Dietary supplements – Are They Really Good for Your Health?

In order to remain ever healthy, we are often advised by nutrition specialists to take three full courses of meals rich in all the necessary nutrients in the required quantities as per the RDA recommended proportions. However, we often fail to get what is needed by our body to stay healthy. We are supposed eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables of different varieties to get the necessary vitamins and minerals required by us as well as fibers necessary for our digestive system.

However, whatever we get from the markets in the urban area are not as fresh as required since the farms are not in proximity. Again the farming practices are not totally natural. Use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides often leave their own adverse effects.

This leads us to the second best alternative and we turn to natural dietary supplements. As these are derived from plants and are rich in phytonutrients, we are able to fill the gap in our nutrition with the help of these supplements.

However, are they really useful as well as safe for us? These supplements are available in the form of plant concentrates providing a very high dose of micronutrients as compared to the fruits and vegetables. Hence we should know what the suggested dose is and should avoid excessive intake. They are also without the necessary fiber content, which we can otherwise obtain from the fresh fruits and vegetables.

These supplements are often marketed with exaggerated claims about their usefulness. Though they do give the required results but not to the extent as advertised. These dietary supplements are claimed to keep you fit or reduce your weight. Some are said to improve your performance in sports or your sex life. Some are claimed to provide antioxidants that increase your immunity. However most of these are not supported by research studies as done in case of pharmaceutical preparations.

Another issue with these supplements is that as per the US FDA regulations, they do not fall under the categories of drugs or conventional foods. The manufacturers are not required to take prior approval before manufacturing or selling. Though there are some regulations on their labeling. Some companies follow the ‘Best Manufacturing Practice’ policy voluntarily and maintain strict quality control.

As a result, the nutritional supplements are not as safe as they should be and one should use caution in consuming them.