Supplement..Pills or Herbs-Part I

Dec 7, 2010
Are you one of the 150 million consumer overwhelmed by over 30 thousand different supplements and not to mention their appealing health claims..Yes,this multi-billion supplement industry has lured everyone from body builders to dieters...by definition dietary supplements are  substances that contain vitamins, minerals,specialty products such as amino acid, glucosamine and such or herbs..and it could be in the form of pill, capsules, powders, or bars..
We do need vitamins and minerals in our body as we cant produce them but is supplement the way to go? NO.. We should aim in getting all the key nutrients first from food because it not only provides us with vitamins and minerals but other benefits such as fiber and antioxidant.The whole idea of supplement is to supplement our diet and NOT substitute it.There are strong research studies on benefits of fiber and antioxidants while unfortunately at this time there is not enough evidence to support the benefits of supplements...Sad but True!! 
If you are already taking any supplement or would like to start one, here are some tips:
  • Assess your diet first and see if you are getting variety in your diet?
  • If possible, check your labs at doctors office..DO NOT TAKE single vitamins/minerals without medical attention.
  • If you take other medications,let your doctor know about your supplements including herbals because it might be causing you more harm than good.
  • Always read label before you buy any supplement.
  • If you think you need one, buy a daily multi vitamin. 
  • Do not use supplement containing more than 100% of daily value because it could be toxic to your body.
  • Do not buy supplement with fancy words such as "Ultra" or "Mega".
  • Herbal or Natural does not mean it is safe..Be careful!!
  • Dietary Supplements are not strictly regulated by FDA and therefore it is consumers responsibility to assume that everything on the label is accurate.
  • Look for quality seals such as USP or NSF for some assurance.