The potential benefits and risks of dietary supplement: what you need to know. 

Dietary supplements are a popular way for people to try to improve their health and well-being. The benefits of dietary supplements can vary depending on the specific supplement and the individual taking it. Some supplements can provide important nutrients that may be lacking in the diet. 

Some potential benefits of dietary supplements include:

  • Multivitamins: help fill nutrient gaps if you are not getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals through your diet. 


  • Omega-3 fatty acids: have shown several benefits for heart health and inflammation. Foods high in omega 3 are fatty fish such as wild-caught salmon, mackerel, tuna, and nuts like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. 


  • Vitamin D: helps the body absorb calcium which is necessary for strong bones and teeth. It also plays a role in a healthy immune system. There are several ways to get vitamin D naturally: sun exposure, fortified foods such as orange juice, milk, and eggs. 


  • Calcium: It helps to maintain strong bones and teeth, and may also help to lower the risk of osteoporosis. 


  • Vitamin C: plays a vital role in many bodily functions such as collagen production, immune system, iron absorption, skin health and cardiovascular health.  


However, not all supplements are safe and effective and some can even be harmful. It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with dietary supplements. Some supplements can interact with medications or have other negative side effects, and some may contain harmful ingredients. Additionally, many supplements have not been thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness, and their claims are not always backed by scientific evidence. 


In general, it is recommended to get the majority of your nutrients from a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Dietary supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. While they may have potential benefits, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are key factors for optimal health. 


Before starting a supplement regimen, consult with a healthcare professional especially if you have a medical condition or taking medications for any illnesses. They can help you decide whether you need supplementation. In conclusion, dietary supplements can be beneficial for some people, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and to practice safe usage. 

About The Author

Dr. Coco is a highly-educated and well-qualified primary care physician who graduated from the University of the Philippines Baguio with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. She completed her three-year residency training in Family Medicine at Brokenshire Medical Center. She passed her diplomate exams in Family Medicine, given by the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians in 2018. 


Dr. Coco is dedicated to providing comprehensive and holistic care for her patients. She is a primary care physician who believes in delivering continuing comprehensive health care for all. To her, patients are not just a number as she takes time to analyse how she can improve their overall health every chance they can get. 

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