Are Dietary Supplements Safe?

If you do an Internet search for “dietary supplements,” you’re rewarded with more than 220,000 million results in under a second. To say the world of dietary supplements is confusing would be an understatement, which is why you need medical guidance to help you figure out which supplements will benefit you most.

At Cross Roads Hormonal Health & Wellness, our health care experts understand that each of our patients has unique needs and concerns. We partner with our patients through every stage of their lives to help them function at their best. At times, a dietary supplement can play a valuable role.

Here’s a look at the safety of dietary supplements and whether you may benefit from taking them.

Understanding your needs

study that was part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that nearly one-third of the population in the United States is at risk for at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia. This is eye-opening when you consider that the average American takes in an incredible 3,600 calories per day.

Unfortunately, with the popularity of processed foods and declining nutrient levels in the soil, our nutritional needs aren’t being met, forcing many of us to turn to supplements to make up the difference.

The most common deficiencies in this study include:

  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B6

While the numbers surrounding vitamin deficiencies are large, figuring out whether you’re a part of them can be tricky, too, and consumers often fall prey to marketing claims.

To determine whether you can benefit from a supplement, your best bet is to sit down with us so that we can review your health and your eating habits and then run a few tests to figure out whether you need a nutritional boost.

The safety of dietary supplements

Because of the dizzying number of options and exaggerated claims in dietary supplements, Congress approved the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act in 1994, which classifies a dietary supplement as an oral product that contains one or more ingredients, including:

  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Amino acids
  • Herbs or botanicals
  • A concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any ingredient listed above

The FDA followed up in 2007 with regulations about good manufacturing practices for dietary supplements, but the standards aren’t as rigorous as for medications. So while there is some oversight to ensure that what you’re taking is safe, it’s still difficult to know whether a supplement is necessary or beneficial for your health.

Furthermore, even if the dietary supplement is safe in general, it may not be safe for you, especially if you have a pre-existing medical concern or you’re taking prescription medications. When you partner with us, we consider your entire health picture and any drug-nutrient interactions to determine the safest and most effective approach to your nutritional needs.

Changing needs

Another aspect to consider is that your dietary supplement needs will likely change over time. If you’ve taken a dietary supplement for a long time and continue to do so out of habit, it may be time for us to check whether you need different resources to support your changing health needs. For example, supplements that support bone health may become more important as you age.

The bottom line is that it’s important to identify your dietary supplement needs with the help of our team so that we can safeguard your health, eliminate unnecessary supplements, and provide your body with the resources it needs at any given time. Sometimes this support may come in the form of IV therapy rather than a dietary supplement.

To learn more about dietary supplements, contact our office in Cross Roads, Texas, to set up an appointment.

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