[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Food supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients, that is to say vitamins and minerals, substances with nutritional or physiological purposes, or plants and plant preparations which aim to compensate for deficiencies in the diet. eating regular of a person. This official definition is given by Directive 2002/46/EC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to food supplements.
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.
They are found in the form of doses such as capsules, lozenges, tablets, pills, sachets of powder or even in liquid preparations (ampoules, bottles fitted with droppers).
And they are the subject of declarations to the Directorate of competition, consumption and the repression of fraud (DGCCRF) which examines their composition and carries out checks like other categories of foodstuffs.
Food supplements are not medicinal treatments and therefore cannot solve a real deficiency in vitamin D or iron for example (shown by a blood test) which must be treated with appropriate medical treatment!
I think that people who have no health concerns and eat a balanced diet have no physiological need to take food supplements. However, they may be of interest in the event of a transitional deficit and in very specific circumstances.
What are food supplements?
Food supplements are:
- vitamins and minerals: vitamin C, D, B 12, iron, magnesium, selenium, calcium…
- plants and plant preparations: herbal medicine products, herbal teas, mother tinctures… fennel, artichoke to drain, meadowsweet to fight against inflammation in cases of osteoarthritis, green tea and guarana to burn calories, or even ginger and black radish to relax. get rid of toxins. Some plants contain active ingredients, even poisons, which are toxic even at low doses. When we think of the poppy which makes it possible to produce opium or the yew from which taxol, an anti-cancer chemotherapy agent, comes, we easily imagine that we must be careful with plants. This is why the species and parts of plants selected for food supplements sold in pharmacies and parapharmacies are carefully controlled and selected.
- essential oils
- substances for nutritional or physiological purposes are substances with exclusively pharmacological properties. These include, for example, caffeine, lycopene, glucosamine or chitosan.
Take precautions to use them without risking your health
- carefully follow the dosage indicated on the container as well as the conditions of use.
- do not take several food supplements at the same time without medical advice in order to avoid overdoses of certain vitamins in particular.
- report any adverse effects to a healthcare professional occurring following the consumption of a food supplement.
- favor supply circuitscontrolled (pharmacy and parapharmacy) by public authorities only!
Supplements may be of interest in responding to a transitory deficit
- fatigue, overwork: vitamin C to help fight against seasonal microbes, vitamin D (Vit D3: 5 drops every day, as a treatment during winter, marine magnesium and/or combined with vitamin B 6 in case of severe fatigue and/or stress, exam preparation,
- constipation : fibers,
- bloating: vegetable coal,
- diarrhea or after antibiotic treatment: ultra yeast and probiotic….
- menstruation (if severe fatigue): combination of vitamins and iron,
- pregnancy (iron, folic acid),
- menopause (because calcium intake increases from 800mg to 1200mg and is difficult to cover through dietary intake).
Also in the event of a long-term deficit
- following a bariatric surgery : supplementation with multi-vitamins, calcium, vitamin D, iron and vitamin B12 for life.
- in case of joint pain, osteoarthritis : food supplements in the form of capsules, mother tinctures, herbal teas, massage oils, patches; providing a concentrate of natural extract of one or more plants known for their anti-inflammatory effects such as harpagophytum, blackcurrant and honey, essential oils of lemon eucalyptus and wintergreen, others are painkillers such as meadowsweet (naturally contains salicylic acid (aspirin)) can be effective in naturally combating pain, slowing the progression of inflammation and limiting stiffness. The use of supplements containing 1500 mg of chondroitin per day, also helps slow down the wear and tear of cartilage by helping the body produce cartilage.
Certain food supplements seem less justified to me!
Those allowing you to better prepare the skin in order to tan well (enriched with vitamin E and omega): our diet can perfectly meet this need. It is enough to consume foods rich in beta carotene (contained in carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, apricots, mangoes, dark green vegetables, sweet potatoes, parsley, etc.) and rich in Vitamin A (liver, meat, fish, whole milk (skimmed milk is enriched with vitamin A), butter, eggs, cheese).
VSallowing them to lose weight: It is better to take stock of your diet and get help if necessary from a professional (dietician, etc.) in order to readjust your intake so that it meets your needs and you lose weight peacefully without frustration or deficiency.
THE supplements found on the market do not teach well eat daily.
They can help you boost your weight loss but it is important to learn to eat a balanced diet in order to avoid the effect yo-yo which is very bad for your health and morale.
However, you can help yourself by natural appetite suppressant as : a large glass of water, a not too ripe apple or banana, a natural yogurt (rich in calcium and protein), eggs: especially the white ones, very rich in protein with a strong satiating power, soups and broths without added : rich in water, fiber and protein.
Use draining plants (in herbal tea, ampoule or capsule) fennel, meadowsweet, pilosella which have the property of promoting the elimination of water and helping the body’s cleansing organs. But they do not make you lose weight on their own.
Those allowing you to have tone and vitality : a diet providing 5 portions of 100 g of fruits and vegetables each day will provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need to have the necessary vitality and tone. In case of overwork, you can take vitamin C and/or marine magnesium but in treatment for 1 to 3 weeks maximum.
Ginseng, guarana, are plants that are full of vitamins and toning substances. They can occasionally allow you to restore your energy when your tone is declining.
Those to be more relaxed, sleep better: always start by looking for the origin of your stress, difficulty falling asleep and see if you cannot change your organization and/or your diet in the first place (http://vitadiet.net/sommeil.html).
You can then help yourself with soothing herbal teas containing Passionflower, valerian, hawthorn, linden, verbena, orange blossom. Not to be confused with certain medications which use them in therapeutic doses associated for example with melatonin, a substance secreted naturally by the body. You can help you fall asleep by exposing yourself to the sun for 10 minutes a day during a short walk, for example.
Those who claim to be anti-aging promise beautiful hair, nails and beautiful skin : these are supplements based on borage oil, wheat germ and vitamin C.
They have no use because our diet, if varied, naturally provides us with:
- THE vitamins B and E (in fruits and vegetables, in particular, kiwi, mango, avocado, fennel, peas, salsify, spinach, oils and margarines, as well as almonds and hazelnuts (1 handful of almonds of 30 g represents 60% of the recommended daily intake for an adult)),
- THE vitamins C (anti-oxidant) it also contributes to the synthesis in the dermis of collagen, a protein essential to the elasticity of the skin. It is concentrated in citrus fruits, kiwi, blackcurrant, strawberries (rich in polyphenol promoting skin nutrition by strengthening the resistance of the small blood capillaries which irrigate the dermis.), cabbage, spinach, fennel, and the pepper..),
- THE zinc (contained in fish and seafood, zinc in red meat and offal; whole grains and pulses).
Those targeting athletes : BCAAs branched chain amino acid), protein powders made from egg white or soy, etc. should not be used without medical supervision.
Be careful, consuming too much protein without medical supervision (sufficient hydration, diet adapted to the needs of the person and their activity, monitoring of signs of kidney suffering, etc.) can have serious health consequences. An adaptation of daily food intake must be sufficient to meet the physiological needs of the athlete. If, however, a supplement is necessary, it must be supervised by a health professional.
BCAAs, which promote muscle recovery and limit fatigue after anaerobic training (weight training for example), are found naturally in the diet.
THE foods rich in valine usually contain other essential amino acids are therefore excellent foods for athletes seeking muscle hypertrophy.
Some Foods rich in valine, leucine and isoleucine include:
- Leucine: whole grains, soy flour, beans, nuts, brown rice and meats, cheese (gouda), curd cheese, half-skimmed milk, egg white…
- Isoleucine: almond, seeds, lentils, nuts, soy, rye, eggs, fish, chickpeas, meat, chicken.
- Valine: peanut, mushroom, seeds, dairy, soy and meat, beans, peas, corn, cashews, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, cocoa, rye, barley, eggplant, beets, garlic, Red onion.
Ask for the support of a dietician to take stock of your balanced diet and correct any deficiencies or special needs!