The Truth about Food Supplements: Do You Really Need Them for Optimal Health?

2023-10-25 10:29:45

Today, most vitamins and minerals come in capsule form. But are these food supplements really useful and good for your health? When, why and in what proportion should you take it?

If you eat well, supplements are unnecessary

The doctor’s opinion: “If you eat a healthy, balanced diet every day — with enough vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains and unsaturated fatty acids — and spend at least thirty minutes a day outside, you normally have all the substances you need to function properly. of your body. Food supplements are therefore superfluous. So make the necessary lifestyle changes rather than compensating for your bad habits with capsules and powders. Certain food supplements may be useful for growing children, elderly people with age-related diseases, pregnant women, high-level athletes and people with a proven deficiency. Only a blood test prescribed by your doctor can detect a possible deficiency, requiring the possible taking of the appropriate supplement.”

You have to buy your supplements in pharmacies

The doctor’s opinion: “Ask your GP for advice before purchasing supplements and buy them from a pharmacy. Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, food supplement manufacturers do not necessarily have to meet strict criteria. I therefore do not recommend buying these products in the supermarket, for example. Your pharmacist, on the other hand, knows which product is qualitative and whether it contains the right quantity of substance.”

Their effectiveness depends from person to person

The doctor’s opinion: “Food supplement manufacturers often promise miraculous effects. But there is often no conclusive scientific evidence that these powders and capsules fulfill the promises noted on the packaging. How the body reacts to a substance and how well it is absorbed into the body is never guaranteed and varies from person to person.”

Supplements May Have Harmful Effects

The doctor’s opinion: “Do not take more capsules than recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. Some supplements may interact with any medications you are taking, have harmful effects if you exceed the indicated dose, or be stored in fatty tissues. If you are pregnant or taking medication, tell your doctor when prescribing dietary supplements. Certain substances such as vitamin A, aloe vera and senna (often found in natural laxative products) may harm your unborn baby or be incompatible with certain medications.”

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Supplements for athletes should be avoided

The doctor’s opinion: “Athlete supplements — which help you run a few hundredths of a second faster — are interesting if you are a high-level athlete. If your practice of sport is more recreational, these supplements are really not necessary. A good amount of carbs, a glass of milk and a fiber-rich banana are enough to give you the boost you need. Additionally, some sports supplements contain a substance that resembles rilatine and speed. And can even be addictive.”

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