Natural nutritional supplements have gained a vast following in recent years. More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of a healthy body, and people are starting to focus on the state of their health more. Surveys conducted in the United States revealed that over half of the population use some form of natural nutritional supplement, such as multivitamins or herbal products. Because of the increasing demand, there has also been a surge in the number of available natural nutritional supplements in the market, with an estimated 10,000 stores collecting over $40 billion a year in sales for these products alone.
The increase in popularity of these supplements can be attributed to the beneficial effects these supplements have been proven to provide Prostastream . Research has been able to establish that vitamins are able to protect your body from numerous diseases, including birth defects, cataracts and cancer. The latest studies have revealed that using natural nutritional supplement can potentially lower your cholesterol levels and subsequently prevent the development of heart disease. Vitamins and minerals have also been shown to enhance the immune system, which protects your body and helps it fight off diseases. Anti-oxidants, contained in Vitamins A, C and E, have also been shown to inhibit free radicals, which are known to contribute a great deal to the aging process.
Now that you know the benefits of natural nutritional supplements, how do you know which one to get? When choosing for a natural nutritional supplement, there are a few things you have to remember.
First, look into the contents of the supplements. A high-quality supplement will contain a broad spectrum of vitamins, including vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K, and minerals, including calcium, copper, iodine, magnesium, iron and zinc. Aside from these, a good quality natural nutritional supplement will also be able to provide other nutrients, such as bioflavanoids, amino acids, L-Carnitine and natural enzymes.
Next, choose the form of the supplement. Supplements come in tablet, capsule, powder and liquid forms. Choose which one would be most convenient for you. Typically, adults choose a tablet or a capsule form. Liquid vitamins, on the other hand, may be more appealing to children and the elderly.
Also, it is important to choose an established brand of natural nutritional supplements. The sheer number of these supplements makes it difficult to monitor each one of them, such that majority of these supplements still remain unregulated. Unregulated products have not been fully researched; thus the exact dosages and chemical contents of the products are unknown, and the products are more likely to cause side effects, especially if not used properly. Choosing an established brand can help you avoid these harmful effects and provide you with the most benefit.
Choosing Nutritional Supplements Wisely Recently, Consumer Labs, an independent testing agency, did a random test of 32 over-the-counter (OTC) supplements. Of these 32, only ten met the claims on their labels for what they contained and the amounts that they claimed were in their supplements. In its study, Consumer Labs also found: one female multi-vitamin contaminated with 15.3 micrograms of lead per serving; a children’s multi-vitamin that contained 216% of the amount of Vitamin A it claimed to have; 3 multi-vitamins that did not break down in the body; and one multi-vitamin that contained none of the Vitamin A it claimed to have. With results like these, it is no wonder consumers are lost on how to choose their supplements.
History of Supplement RegulationFirst, let’s start with the definition of a “dietary supplement.” In 1994, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which defined supplements as “any product taken by mouth that contains a dietary ingredient intended to supplement the diet, which may include vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids…enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites.” All supplement manufacturers are under the loose oversight of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA.) It is “loose” oversight, because each company is individually responsible for determining that what it manufactures or distributes is safe and that any claims their labels make are substantiated by adequate evidence. The FDA only requires governmental approval for “new” ingredients that haven’t been on the market yet. After the DSHEA was passed in 1994, the FDA was supposed to publish a “Good Manufacturing Practices” document, which would have made it easier for the agency to inspect manufacturing plants and individual batches of supplements. Thirteen years later, though, this document still hasn’t been published.