Are you considering taking a dietary supplement? Before you do, it's important to be aware of the potential risks and benefits. Here are 6 things to look out for when deciding whether or not to take a supplement.
1.Talk to Your DoctorEven though dietary supplements are available without a prescription, it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking any type of supplement. Your doctor can help you determine if a dietary supplement is necessary and provide advice on the best type of supplement for your needs.
2.Seek Reliable InformationBefore taking any type of supplement, it's important to seek reliable information. The Drugs and Supplements section of the Mayo Clinic website is a great place to start. This section provides detailed information on the potential risks and benefits of various supplements.
3.Consider Your DietTaking a general “broad-spectrum” vitamin and mineral supplement “just in case” poses little health risk and may benefit a person whose diet is restricted and lacks variety.
However, it's important to remember that taking vitamin and mineral supplements instead of following a nutritious diet is not recommended.
4.Check for QualityWhen selecting a dietary supplement, it's important to check for quality. Look for products that have been tested by an independent third-party organization such as USP or NSF International. These organizations test products for safety, purity, and potency.
5.Read Labels CarefullyIt's also important to read labels carefully when selecting a dietary supplement. Make sure you understand the ingredients and potential side effects before taking any type of supplement.