Health and Fitness

Dietary supplements: Are they worth it?

Most adults United States are currently taking at least one dietary supplement every day. These include vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and come in multiple forms. They may be a capsule, a powder, a drink, or even an energy bar.

Some of the most common ones includes multivitamins as well as additional Vitamin D or Vitamin E, minerals such as calcium and iron, or herbs such as echinacea or garlic.

Ideally, we receive our dietary nutritional needs from healthy foods. Unfortunately, much of our food is poor in nutrients and dietary supplements may be necessary. Much of the US population is over fed but under nourished.

I’ll list a few supplements that I’ve been talking to my patients about lately. This list however is not comprehensive.

Tumeric is a popular spice that people have been taken recently as a supplement. It is a strong natural anti-inflammatory compound which has multiple beneficial effects. Decreasing inflammation in our system overall can benefit multiple diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, eczema, and allergies, arthritis and asthma. Many people take Tumeric to decrease joint aching but the anti-inflammatory benefits have been shown to be significant

Another supplement I discuss is vitamin D. Living in the Midwest, it is difficult in the Fall, Winter and Spring to get enough sunlight to allow your body to make it’s needed vitamin D. Vitamin D supplement is therefore recommended for its multiple benefits. It helps with mood skin and bone health.

Fish oil is another supplement which I frequently recommend. Omega three fish oil supplements can be found in fish oil tablets and may offset the poor omega three content of much of the industrially produced, processed foods. It can improve arthritis and may decrease risk of cardiovascular disease. It may improve anxiety and depression and even help fight Alzheimer’s

These are the top three I recommend. It also doesn’t hurt to take a daily multivitamin although much of it will pass through without providing any significant benefit. In general, try to eat it as nutritious a diet as possible, high in nutrient content, and minimize intake of processed foods.

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