Is taking dietary supplements really helpful?

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Food supplements can be found everywhere, in pharmacies, supermarkets and even gyms. There are so many that we could feel lost in the face of this infinite choice, but at the same time excited by all the possibilities of ‘miracle’ effects they can have on our health, our body or our appearance. Many people take it without really knowing why, because they have heard about this product, because the message on the box appealed to them or because they saw ads in their favorite magazine.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

These are products that seem completely harmless, but if used incorrectly, they can become dangerous. Certain plants or vitamins in high doses can cause health problems. So I’m going to talk to you about these different types of food supplements and how to avoid making bad choices.

Should you take vitamins and minerals?

Vitamin C, βcarotene, vitamin complex, iron, etc. We often think we are doing well by taking this type of supplement, but it is essential to ask a healthcare professional to find out if you really have it need and which product to choose.

Effectively, vitamin C for example is effective, but in our body, it don’t work alone. It needs other antioxidants to be effective otherwise it will just be eliminated in the urine. In addition, it must be of natural origin and combined with other antioxidants. Moreover, we find it easily, even more bioavailable in raw vegetables of the season. For example, 3 seasonal fruits and one raw vegetable per day (organic, preferably), provide sufficient vitamin C to compensate for needs.

THE βcarotenes, they are very popular before the summer season. This provitamin A, unfortunately, in high doses can be harmful especially in smokers. You find this provitamin naturally and bioavailable in carrots or red fruits. Why not make a carrot juice cure using a juice extractor with a blueberry smoothie as a snack to prepare for summer?

Supplements of several vitamins and minerals will only be of interest in people with an increased malabsorption problem, such as people with chronic intestinal diseases or those experiencing severe malnutrition. If there is a diagnosis made by your doctor or dietician in the event of a specific deficiency, no worries, but otherwise pay attention to the intake of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, E or K. These vitamins provided in excess will be stored in the liver and can cause hepatotoxicity. And the same for minerals, which in large quantities can reduce the absorption of other minerals and therefore lead to secondary deficiencies.

This is what we often find with iron supplementation among certain athletes who think they are doing well. This limits the absorption of other minerals essential to performance and ultimately already had a sufficient intake of iron through their diet. In addition, excess iron becomes a pro-oxidant, having negative effects on health. Other than diagnosed anemia, no need for supplementation.

Vitamins food supplements

What to do be careful when taking supplements based on plant?

There herbal medicine is useful for treating certain symptoms light, preventatively. But if taken without advice from a health professional, it is important to take into account the contraindications.

There licorice for example found in many mixtures Ayurvedic medicines can cause hypertension ranging more or less towards risks such as discomfort. Other plants can have dangerous side effects and it is therefore preferable, even in infusion, to know all the contraindications. Of Plus, choose organic to avoid ingesting products chemicals in addition.

Is it necessary to take a cure? probiotic?

They are now found everywhere. They are popular and we understand why. Studies on the microbiota and the impact of probiotics on health are exciting and innovative. Unfortunately, many probiotics put on the market have not yet been tested long enough and on a large enough sample to give them the so-called ‘miracle’ properties to treat many symptoms and pathologies. A mixture of quality probiotics is interesting for a person who has experienced intestinal trauma such as a long course of antibiotics, difficult gastroenteritis or even having disabling digestive problems. But consuming probiotics naturally is possible by turning to fermented foods such as pickles, olives, pollen, sauerkraut, kefir, etc.

Protein powder are they really necessary?

THE amino acids are building blocks of protein ideal. There are 8 essential ones, acid supplementation aminos or even proteins is not necessary unless prescribed by a health professional, if there is severe malnutrition or a specific disease. But you can be sure that this will not be those found in the gym. Know it, the middle of sport is a business for brands of all kinds, whether for weight loss or muscle mass gain, Protein powder is not necessary.

Of moreover, in excess, they will be eliminated in the urine, which makes urine expensive. Amino acids taken in isolation can even lead to a small loss of muscle mass in creating an insufficient intake of other amino acids essential. If you want to find it naturally, opt for eggs, soy or quality dairy products.