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Dietary Supplements Essay

1318 words - 6 pages

Dietary Supplements Report
Laura S. Carlton
SCI/241
05/11/2013
Carlene Graham PhD.

Summary
Dietary Supplements come in different forms and have been used for years for a variety of reasons, from just wanting to fill in what you were lacking in your diet to trying to cure an ailment. Some may have benefits to taking them when taken properly, but there is risk in taking them if you are not careful. You should only take supplements under the supervision of your physician. They are to use with your diet to help you attain the amount of nutrition you desire. There are steps that you can take to make sure that the supplement is safe for you to take.

Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements are ...view middle of the document...

Herbs are substances such as Echinacea and garlic. There are also specialty products like glucosamine, probiotics, and fish oils. They all contain a supplement facts panel that lists contents, amount of active ingredients per serving, and other additives such as flavoring and fillers. The manufacture lists the suggested amount to be taken but the actual amount you need is up to you and your doctor to determine.
Benefits
Scientific evidence shows that some dietary supplements are beneficial for overall health and for managing some health conditions. For example, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils might help some people with heart disease, folic acid decreases the risk of certain birth defects, calcium and vitamin D are good for making your bones strong; these are only a few examples where supplements are beneficial to one’s health. Supplementing your diet with B vitamins is said to help prevent the numerous effects of vitamin deficiencies, including skin disorders, joint pain, nerve damage and anemia (Tremblay, 2011). Your body also needs the vitamins and minerals so that it can break down the food you eat into energy.
Risks
There are risks that are involved in taking dietary supplements that you must be aware of and one of these risks is that they are not regulated by the government. They are not required to show proof that they work like they claim before they are marketed. Another huge risk that you must take note of is that many of the supplements can interact with prescription medication that you are already taking, and that can lead to potentially dangerous reactions. Some supplements can increase the risk of bleeding and if a person is already taking a blood thinner then that could cause a major problem. Another example of a potentially dangerous situation is if a supplement is taken before or after a surgery it could possibly affect the person’s response to anesthesia (Dietary Supplements:” What You Need to Know”. 2010). Most dietary supplements have not been tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers or children.
Government Regulations on Supplements
There may be some benefit to taking supplements but they should never take the place of the medication given to you by your doctor and should not be used in substitution of nutrition that you get from well balanced meals. Supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, which are organizations that were created to make sure that what is marketed to the public is safe. Instead in 1994 the FDA formed the United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary which provides guidelines, and specifications for dietary supplements; however, manufactures of dietary supplements are not legally obligated to follow these guidelines (Marks, 2011).There is no agency monitoring the supplements, the only monitoring is done voluntary by individuals that had adverse effects reporting to the manufacture. The problem with...

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