Dietary Supplements Summary

Dietary Supplements Summary



Dietary Supplements Summary

Dietary supplements are substances that one can eat or drink but come in form of pills, gels of drinks that contain minerals, vitamins, herbs, amino acids and enzymes amongst others. In United States, dietary supplements are defined as products intended to add to the diet that people take. However, it is not considered a substitute for food. Its main purpose is adding nutrients that may not be sufficiently consumed in the right amount to the body. In addition to its definitions, despite coming in capsules, pills, soft gels or liquid, they are not meant to treat or prevent any disease (Talbott, 2012). Rather, they only increase the amount of nutrients one takes into their body.

            The main benefit that comes with dietary supplements is ensuring that one gets an adequate amount of essential nutrients that might not be gotten easily, which could cause deficiency. Some of the deficiencies in nutrients are known to cause health conditions to the body. For instance, deficiency in vitamin A could mean a reduced eyesight performance during the night. The dietary supplements can be used in treating aliments that result from deficiency. For instance, one can get iron supplements in large amounts to eliminate a deficiency. Dietary supplements promote a better metabolism (Talbott, 2012). This is because after eating some of the nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates partially rely on vitamins for absorption. Dietary supplements also promote better maintenance and repair of tissues in the body. This is especially important for elderly people. For competitive or athletes, getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals can increase performance.

            Dietary supplements also come with some risks that all users should look out. One of these risks comes from the fact that most of the dietary supplements do not undergo testing that other drugs have to go. This is a risk because manufacturers are not required by law to prove that their products are effective. As a result, many of them are not effective. In addition to this, manufacturers are not required to mention any side effects of dietary supplements. This poses another risk because users are not aware of the side effects to look out for after taking the products. Although majority is marketed as natural, most of them contain chemicals. Any chemical capable of affecting the body positively is also capable of causing negative effects. Finally, supplements could react negatively with prescribed drugs, causing more harm to users.

            Just like other products, dietary supplements are regulated by the government. One of the regulations is about labeling. The government requires dietary supplement manufacturers to label their products in accordance with the set rules. They are treated as food products that should not be market and distributed as drugs. The Federal Trade Commission, FTC, is responsible for ensuring that there are no false claims to persuade users to buy the products (Webb, 2011). The FDA monitors the safety of supplements although it is voluntary. In addition, manufacturers are required to use proper practices during processing of their products. Accidents that arise from their products should be reported to ensure mitigation. Regulation of dietary supplements is not strict because they are considered food and can be bought from a grocery and other provision stores.

            Supplements can be used in managing some health conditions. One of such health conditions that can be managed using supplements is peptic ulcer. Peptic ulcer is a core lining in the stomach or the initial segment making up small intestines, duodenum. This causes a lot of burning pain in the stomach, loss in weight, bloating and poor appetite. This can be managed using several supplements (Webb, 2011). One of them is vitamin C, which is known to lower dosage of antibiotics. Vitamin C is also helpful in treatment of bleeding stomach ulcers caused by use of aspirin. The supplement facts label for this supplement is 500 – 1000 mg 1 – 3 times a day. Its serving size is one capsule, with a daily percentage value of 744%, which is 670 mg and 121.5% of magnesium representing 50 mg.   


Talbott, S. M. (2012). A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements. New York, N.Y: Routledge.

Webb, G. P. (2011). Dietary Supplements and Functional Foods. New York, N.Y: John Wiley & Sons.

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