What Are the Effects of Supplements
to Your Mind & Body?
Millions of Americans take dietary supplements every day. Some do so in order to combat vitamin deficiencies, while others are trying to be proactive about controlling disease risk. The problem is, not all dietary supplements are created equal. Not all of them are equally safe and effective, and few "wellness" supplements live up to their manufacturers' lofty claims.
The Example Set by CBD
The recent popularization of CBD offers a perfect example of the problem with wellness supplements. These supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which means some of them contain dangerous contaminants, while others contain little to no cannabidiol. Unwary consumers often wind up paying exorbitant prices for products that are unlikely to produce any noteworthy results.
No one is arguing that CBD is not effective. Research shows that the cannabinoid has a lot of therapeutic potential, even if the FDA has only approved one manufacturer's product for the treatment of an actual medical condition. Those who want to take advantage of this natural substance without falling prey to supplement scams can grow their own cannabis by purchasing seeds online at Weed Seeds USA.
Now that people understand a few of the general problems with the largely unregulated nutraceutical industry, let's take a step back and discuss the good things about dietary supplements. Americans have been taking multivitamins and some targeted supplements for decades, and some do have proven beneficial effects as long as buyers purchase them from reputable vendors. Here are a few supplements that have been shown to provide specific health benefits:
- Vitamin B12 can help to prevent anemia and keep nerve cells healthy.
- Folic acid is good for pregnant women since it can reduce the risk of birth defects.
- Vitamin D has been shown to strengthen bones.
- Calcium can also promote better bone health.
- Vitamins E and C can reduce cell damage.
- Fish oil supports heart health.
- Vitamin A may help to reduce vision loss in seniors.
- Zinc promotes healthy skin.
- Melatonin may help to regulate sleep cycles.
What supplements won't do is act as a miracle cure. They won't treat cancer, prevent diabetes, or slow cognitive decline. Don't fall for false claims to the contrary.
Some supposedly beneficial supplements can be downright dangerous for specific consumers. They may increase the risk of developing certain diseases, interact negatively with pharmaceutical medications, or cause liver damage. Ginkgo has been shown to thin the blood, while vitamin K may interact with pharmaceutical blood thinners to make them less effective. St. John's wort can reduce the effectiveness of certain antidepressants and birth control.
Comfrey and kava, two popular herbal supplements, have been shown to cause liver damage. Vitamin A and beta-carotene supplements may slow the progression of vision loss in some patients, but they can also increase smokers' risk of developing lung cancer. Needless to say, the potential benefits don't always outweigh the risks.
Worst of all, some supplements contain dangerous contaminants. Those who choose to take supplements should educate themselves about the ingredients and individual manufacturers' quality controls. Patients who take other medications should also consult their doctors before starting new supplements.
The Bottom Line
Some supplements have been shown to be effective, while others have little impact on consumers' bodies and minds. The largest threat in the supplement industry comes from contaminants introduced during the manufacturing process.