With so many individuals making healthy resolutions to be healthier and clean up their diets, they are often tempted with marketing and advertisements for all kinds of supplements. Are supplements really necessary for good health?
Supplements were originally designed to fill the nutritional gaps in the average diet. For the average person that eats a healthy and well-rounded diet, there would not be a large nutritional gap big enough to justify excess of additional vitamins and minerals. For individuals who do not have a lack of micronutrients, taking supplements in excess could have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve leaving you sick with toxic levels of vitamins and/or minerals. It is best to consult a physician to order blood work so that your levels and numbers can be checked before you add any supplements to your diet to see which nutrients, if any, you need to consume.
It is important to have this conversation with your physician if you have any concerns on your micronutrient levels. Some life factors can alter these numbers and also your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients. Some prescription medications can block your body’s absorption rate of certain vitamins and minerals. Other medications can enhance them. On the flip side, some supplements can affect your prescription drugs. This is why it is important to check with your doctor before adding any new supplements into your diet. A pharmacist is also a resourceful person to consult about mixing supplements with prescription drugs.
Hormonal shifts in the women’s body can also change the levels of micronutrients. Sometimes supplements can be very helpful during these times. Organ function, immune system support, depression, and fatigue can all be indicative of hormonal shifts. Sometimes supplements alone can be helpful if discussed with a doctor to determine which supplements and how much. Other times, prescription choices are best. There is no one answer that applies to everyone because each person is unique and has their own sets of needs and goals.
If dietary changes can be made to solve a health concern or to add better nutrients without having to supplement, a dietician should be consulted so that you are making those changes safely and effectively for the best health.
Supplements can be beneficial if you have a nutritional gap in your everyday diet. Sometimes other factors can affect the results in blood work. It is always best to consult a physician before adding or removing supplements.
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