About half of the adult population takes at least one dietary supplement, and it's easy to see why. People have a legitimate desire for good health, and the supplement industry has a strong desire for good sales. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act restricts the FDA's ability to regulate products that are marketed as dietary supplements, even though most people buy them for health reasons, not for nutritional reasons. It's important to talk to your doctor about any supplements you're taking, as they can help ensure that the supplement you choose doesn't affect any other medications you're taking and will also give you advice on whether it's the best way to meet your particular needs.
We'll look at popular supplements in both categories, starting with preventive supplements that are mostly used by healthy people.
Vitamins and Supplementsare often taken to make sure people get enough essential nutrients and to maintain or improve their health. The MyDS app provides the latest information on supplements and allows you to keep track of the vitamins, minerals, herbs and other products you take. However, once you've been infected, there's no point in starting to take vitamin C supplements to combat it. It's important for all women of child-bearing age to have 400 micrograms of folic acid a day, either through supplements or fortified foods. Like most other supplements that are really effective, they can be useful in very specific circumstances, but you don't need to take them continuously on a daily basis.
Vitamin C may not help prevent or treat the common cold, but the other widely used cold supplement, zinc, is worth taking. In addition, the effects of many supplements have not been evaluated in children, pregnant women and other groups. Of the supplements that aren't derived from vitamins and minerals, fish oil probably has the most scientific evidence to support its use. Because nearly all supplements are used without medical supervision or monitoring, most of the approximately 50,000 adverse reactions that occur in the United States each year go unreported. It's important to do your research before taking any supplement and talk to your doctor about any potential risks or interactions with other medications.