What I think about food supplements by Clélia d’Angelo

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

I would like to start this article by enlightening you on an important point: food supplements are not medicines.

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 ” foods whose purpose is to supplement a normal diet and which constitute a concentrated source of nutrients or other substances having a nutritional or physiological effect » according to the 2002 European directive.

As a Dietitian Nutritionist I will give you my opinion on food supplements: why consume them, how, do they make you lose weight, etc.?

They are found in all forms: capsules, powder, tablets, pills, solutions, ampoules, droppers, etc.

Even if their appearance is reminiscent of medicines, they in no way treat, cure or treat illnesses.

If you decide to turn to supplementation of this type, be sure to have all the knowledge on the subject in hand.

For the little story

The entry of food supplements onto the market is linked to the health problems that have plagued past centuries. Scurvy which led to a vitamin C deficiency, rickets, bone deformities, etc. food supplements were first developed with the aim of preventing various health problems. Today, the use of these products extends to well-being, beauty, shape, tone and delaying aging. There are thousands of them on the market.

Regulatory framework for food supplements

Since 2002, a European directive has made it possible to clearly define what a food supplement is.

Since 2006, the substances used in the manufacture of food supplements (vitamins and minerals) have been listed by decree and certified as safe for your health.

ANSES (French Food Safety Agency) as well as the Minister responsible for consumption authorize the presence of: plants, fibers or amino acids.

Since 2012 the list of plants which can be incorporated into foodstuffs has been notified.

complément alimentaire

What do we find in food supplements?

Food supplements may contain:

  • nutrients (vitamins and minerals)
  • plants (plants intended for exclusively therapeutic use are excluded)
  • substances for nutritional or physiological purposes (chemically defined substances, with the exception of pharmacological substances)
  • traditional ingredients (example: royal jelly, etc.)
  • additives
  • aromas
  • technological aids (additives) whose use is authorized in human food.

Food supplements must comply with specific information regarding their labeling. You must find on the label of this product several obligatory mentions which I present to you here:

  • the name of the categories of nutrients or substances characterizing the product or an indication relating to the nature of these nutrients or substances
  • the daily portion of product whose consumption is recommended
  • a warning against exceeding the indicated daily dose
  • a declaration aimed at preventing food supplements from being used as substitutes for a varied diet
  • a warning indicating that the products should be kept out of the reach of children.

Food supplements to lose weight?

In 2010, a study presented at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm (Sweden) highlighted the ineffectiveness of supplements intended for slimming.

Using food supplements to lose weight is like thinking that there are miracle products that could erase the pounds.

Be careful, magic only exists in books!

What can help you lose weight is to change the way you eat: wait until you are hungry before sitting down to eat, taste the food in order to be able to listen to and respect your satiety.

Under no circumstances will you lose weight with a miracle capsule. I am therefore alerting you to the false advertising that you may be confronted with which would make you believe the opposite.

If you would like to view other of my articles:

Why consume food supplements?

You are tired ? Deficient? Here are the reasons that might make you turn to these products.

A course of vitamins to face winter, for example, can be an excellent solution. When autumn arrives, in addition to your varied and balanced diet, there is nothing better than a treatment that will boost your immune system and help protect you against winter viruses.

Of course, with medical advice.

Using food supplements for health prevention yes, to cure, treat, lose weight,… no!

How to choose your food supplements?

ANSES advises you to follow certain recommendations when you want to turn to food supplements:

  • Ask a health professional (doctor, dietitian, etc.) for advice.
  • Avoid prolonged, repeated or multiple doses
  • Respect the conditions of employment
  • Be vigilant when it comes to products presented as miraculous
  • Favor products sold in the best controlled channels

Please note, you must report any adverse effects following the consumption of food supplements to a healthcare professional.

To avoid an overdose, do not take several food supplements at the same time. Respect the maximum doses indicated on the product labeling and take into account the quantities already provided by food.

If this seems complicated to you, contact a health professional who can support you.

To conclude, I would like to point out that in the absence of pathologies, meeting your nutritional needs is entirely possible thanks to a varied and balanced diet, respecting seasonality. Without forgetting daily physical activity which must be anchored in your lifestyle like a habit.

Therefore, the consumption of food supplements is not necessary.

Nature offers us everything we need, we might as well use it in the context of listening and respecting the needs of your body.

Don’t forget that it is essential to cook, seasonally, to take the time to sit at the table and eat mindfully (without TV, smartphone, etc.).

You have your health in hand, don’t count on capsules to take care of it for you, it will never have the same result.

For further :