People have questioned me throughout the years, “Why do we need to take supplements,” for example. or “Do supplements make sense?”
Is taking supplements necessary?
All the nutrients we need should ideally come from the food we eat. The crucial term here is “ideally,” as few people really consume the recommended amounts of macronutrients, micronutrients, and phytonutrients daily. We continually flit from one place to another in our hectic modern lives, stopping for meals along the way.
The brain sends a hunger signal when we don’t consume enough calories, and our stomachs may grumble as a result.
While our brain is brilliant at detecting hunger, it cannot tell us whether we are deficient in certain nutrients that our bodies require to operate at their best. These micronutrient deficiencies, which affect one in three individuals worldwide, are what we refer to as “hidden hunger.”
Health professionals have used a supplement strategy to assist people in meeting their nutritional demands. For instance, in some societies, vitamin A supplements may be provided to infants and young children, whereas folic acid supplements may be given to women of childbearing age.
Aging populations are also disproportionately affected by hidden hunger. In general, as women get older, they are advised to increase their vitamin D and B12 intake, while B vitamins and calcium are advised for athletes.
It is advised that one get advice from a healthcare expert who is knowledgeable about nutrition science because dietary demands differ from person to person. Some dietary supplements are designed to encourage optimal nutrient intake. These include the vitamins, minerals, and even lipids and amino acids your body needs for healthy function but cannot produce.
These supplements frequently have recognized maximum limitations based on knowledge of potential negative effects and determined minimum daily requirements. Therefore, it would depend on how much of that supplement you take in comparison to all of the other kinds of nutrition you consume during the day.
The Malaysian Dietary Guidelines and other health and nutrition regulations of the Ministry of Health are in place in Malaysia to support a healthy diet. Age, gender, and stage of life all affect these suggestions differently.
The tolerable upper intake levels (UL) of nutrients are also established by health professionals to make sure that supplement dosages do not put consumers at risk.
Before taking supplements or changing your diet, consult your healthcare professional because nutrition is complicated and individualized. For any medical conditions or to make up for any deficiencies, your healthcare professional can advise you on whether you need to take supplements.
Always inform your doctor about any supplements you use, as some can interact negatively with prescription drugs. It’s also crucial to adhere to the suggested intakes listed on the product label.
Make sure you purchase any food item from a respected brand or manufacturer whenever you can, especially when doing so online. Do spend some time investigating the track record of the supplement’s manufacturer. Examine their website carefully to learn about their qualifications and the steps they take to make sure you receive a high-quality, secure product that satisfies your demands.
Most significantly, every person has different needs. When ingested in the appropriate amounts, a particular nutrient may or may not be beneficial depending on a variety of factors, including medical conditions, medications, and even genetic makeup. For instance, having the HFE gene may make a person more likely to store iron in excess. This person will probably want to think twice about taking iron supplements.
In general, supplements are safe for healthy people as long as they adhere to important quality requirements and are used as directed to support a healthy diet.
Consult your healthcare provider before beginning a supplement program. They might be able to advise you on the best dietary supplements to add to your wellness regimen, making sure you take them in the proper quantities for your age, gender, and stage of life and that they don’t conflict with any existing medications.
3 REASONS TO TAKE SUPPLEMENTS
i. You have restrictions on your diet
When you eliminate food groups from your diet, it’s crucial to pay attention to the nutrients that might be missing. You run a larger risk of depleting certain nutrients if you adopt a diet like vegan, paleo, or keto—or if you must otherwise avoid certain food groups like gluten or dairy due to allergies or intolerances. For instance, vegetarians and vegans need to be very careful to eat enough high-quality sources of iodine, iron, zinc, and B12. Similar to how dairy products make it simpler to get the recommended daily intake of these nutrients, paleo and dairy-free diets may require more calcium and vitamin D. In addition, grains are a great source of magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins.
ii. A vitamin “insurance policy” is what you want
You might think about taking dietary supplements for particular nutrients depending on your unique eating habits. Otherwise, taking a high-quality multivitamin that contains the necessary daily nutrients is a simpler solution. But keep in mind that a multivitamin doesn’t take the place of healthy foods. Instead, it could aid in bridging any gaps.
iii. You are among mature ages
People over 50 have a higher need for calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Since post-menopausal women are more likely to have bone density loss because of hormonal changes, vitamin D and calcium are particularly crucial for these individuals. A calcium/D3 supplement taken every day can reduce this risk. The inability of older persons to properly absorb vitamin B12 from food can also result in a deficit. It is suggested that you take a daily B12 supplement because of this.
Due to soil depletion, your food is nutrient deficient
The food you eat isn’t as nutrient-dense as it once was, regardless of the diet you follow. In the name of profit, conventional farming has resulted in overfarmed land over time. The soil begins to lose nutrients without regular crop rotation, which causes nutritional depletion in our food supply. According to research, minerals like protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C are impacted by soil depletion. Other nutrients that plants take up from the soil, such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin E, could also be impacted. Unfortunately, this widespread issue necessitates deliberate adjustment among farmers. But don’t let that stop you from consuming your daily serving of fruits and veggies.