Food supplements, also known as nutritional or dietary supplements, are products made from extracts of components such as plants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids and consumed as capsules, powders, or liquids. The main purpose of food supplements is to meet the need for nutrients that cannot be consumed adequately and in a balanced way.
It should be noted that food supplements are not drugs or nutritional substitutes.
A balanced and healthy nutrition program meets an individual’s daily fruit, vegetable, protein, mineral, vitamin, and fatty acid needs under normal conditions; however, food supplements are required in certain age groups and societies despite adequate and balanced nutrition.People living in countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden experience vitamin D deficiency because they cannot benefit from the sun sufficiently. Since vegan individuals do not consume meat, vitamin B12 deficiency, women of reproductive age experience folic acid and iron deficiency, and individuals with food allergies still need food supplements.
Multivitamins and fish oil capsules are the most commonly used food supplements in our society. Especially in elderly individuals, since the absorption of vitamin B12 decreases with age, multivitamin support is applied, but it has been determined that multivitamin supplements trigger the feeling of hunger and cause a desire to eat more. In addition, excessive and long-term use of fish oil supplements by pregnant women can also lead to birth defects. Except for some special cases mentioned above, natural nutrition is recommended instead of nutritional supplements since the use of food supplements is not fully supported scientifically.
It has been observed that some food supplements may be beneficial in cases of illness. Calcium deficiency is seen in women in the menopause period, and it is known that the calcium supplements used help prevent osteoporosis. In addition, it has been reported that omega3 capsules protect against cardiovascular diseases when used regularly and in appropriate doses, and some plant extracts protect against diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Depending on the product type and content, the amount of use, frequency of use, and time of use of nutritional supplements may vary.
In the use of dietary supplements
More than four different food supplements per day are not recommended.
Do not overdo it.
The food supplement to be used must be approved by the Ministry of Health.
Attention should be paid to gaining the habit of reading labels.
Before using food supplements, it is vital that you consult your doctor and follow the nutrition program that you will create together with your nutritionist in order to avoid overdose or undesirable results in some special cases.
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