I would like to start off by saying that this post isn’t about the supplements one use for bodybuilding and or exercise (fat burners, aminos, whey, BCAAs, preworkout, post workout, etc) that is for a later post by itself. This post is for supplements such as: Vitamins, Botanicals, Minerals and Amino acids, etc. In my opinion people have gotten so used to wanting to substitute supplements for simple foods that can and will provide the same or more than what you need. The reason behind some people’s logic is that don’t believe they are getting all they need from their “diet” and don’t know what foods provide what naturally; it all honesty some of you could save more money if you knew how to get the proper dietary aids if you know what to eat and how much of it. Now there are situations where one would need to take a supplement(s) and this happens because they are either allergic to the foods that provide it, their Dr. recommends it because they are deficient, they have a disease or illness that requires them to, or because they are on a strict diet. So with that being said not everyone doesn’t need supplements but on the other hand I believe supplement pushing isn’t a bright idea either because some of them come with risk (if not all of them).
I will admit that for a while I was taking fish oil pills because I had someone tell me I should because of what they provide and all of its benefits, not to mention they told me especially if I don’t have the omega’s in my diet, it would help with it. So I did, I took it religiously and if anyone knows the cost of this supplement (it’s outrageous) and I went through so much money keeping up with it. I finally read some articles and studies because I was interested in what I was taking and how my body responded to it; well what I found out at the time was how it didn’t show much proof of helping with the heart, it provided more omega’s than necessary for one person and it didn’t prove to have the benefits that everyone prides it for. For this reason, it made me wonder if I was wasting money, so I stopped taking it. I have’t taken it since then and I would say it has been a little over a year now. Now I won’t say that Fish oil pills have no use for others because I have family members who take it, but it shown no improvement for me and I know other ways to fit omega’s in my diet now (more educated than I once was) and by this time, I am sure there have been more studies looking into it; so it is possible that fish oil pills may prove to be reliable after all.
What is a dietary supplement you ask?
Is any product that contains a dietary ingredient intended to add to the diet. The ingredient can be any of the above: vitamin, mineral, herb or botanical.
- Vitamin A: Naturally present in many foods and is a fat-soluble vitamin. The importance of vitamin A is it helps with vision, immune system and reproduction. Helps the heart, lungs and kidneys as well. The amount of vitamin A needed depends on your age, and reproductive status. (14 and older between 700-900mcg, and women who are nursing should take 1200-1300 and younger than 14 should take lower doses). The foods that provide a sufficient amount of vitamin A: beef liver (organ meats), salmon (among other fish), broccoli, carrots and squash(green, yellow, orange veggies), cantaloupe, mango and apricots (among other fruits), dairy products & fortified breakfast cereals. Being deficient in vitamin A is rare, but can cause an eye condition especially for young children and women who are pregnant. Getting too much vitamin A can cause dizziness, nausea, coma and death, turn the skin yellow-orange. I won’t go into full detail but here is a link for more information on vitamin A. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-Consumer/#h7
- Vitamin D: Need to aid in strong bones, and people who do not get enough vitamin D will end up with soft and brittle bones. The amount of vitamin D you need is based on age. Foods at provide vitamin D: Salmon, tuna and mackerel (fatty fish), beef liver, cheese and egg yolks (provide small amount), mushrooms, milk, some breakfast cereals, orange juice, yogurt and margarine (check the labels). The body makes vitamin D uwhen the skin is directly exposed to the sun. If you consume too much vitamin D it can be come toxic and cause vomiting, nausea, poor appetite, constipation, weakness and weight loss. Here is a link for more information on vitamin D: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/
- Zinc: Helps the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses. Zinc helps wounds to heal and is necessary for proper senses of taste and smell. Depending on the age will determine how much zinc your body should consume regularly. Zinc is found in these foods: Oysters, red meat, poultry, crab and lobster, fortified breakfast cereals, beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products. Zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, diarrhea, eye and skin sores, loss of appetite, weight loss, problems with wound healing, decreased ability to taste food, lower alertness levels. Too much zinc intake can cause: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and headaches (among other risk). If you want more information on zinc: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-Consumer/
- Iron: Helps with growth and development. The amount of iron necessary depends on the age of the person. Iron is found in these foods: lean meat, seafood and poultry, iron fortified breakfast cereals and breads, white beans, lentils, spinach, kidney beans and peas, nuts and some dried fruits. Iron deficiency can cause: tiredness, lack of energy, G.I upset, poor memory and concentration, less ability to fight off germs and infections, less of ability to control body temperature. Too much iron can also be a risk: upset stomach, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and fainting, organ failure, coma, convulsions and death. For more information on iron: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-Consumer/
- Flaxseed: Normally used as a laxative but can be used for hot flashes and and breast pain. Flaxseed should be taken with tons of water because it could worsen constipation and cause blockage. For more information on flaxseed: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/flaxseed/ataglance.htm
- Green Tea: Has been used for weight loss, cancers, mental alertness, protecting skin from damage and lowering cholesterol levels. Green tea contains caffeine and caffeine can cause insomnia, upset stomach, anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, and frequent urination. It contains vitamin K and this means it can react to medications such as Warfarin. For information about green tea: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/greentea