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Tips for Choosing the Right Health Supplements

Food is always the best way to obtain all the nutrients you need. But if you think your diet isn’t enough, supplements can fill the gap. If you’re not sure if you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals or not, seek help from your doctor or a registered dietitian.

Defining Your Needs

Various factors affect your nutritional needs, like your medical background, your age, your lifestyle, medical conditions you’re likely to get, and so on. For example, if you’re at risk for osteoporosis, you’ll probably have to take calcium and vitamin D. Or if you’re a woman planning on a pregnancy, you should take folic acid to help keep certain birth defects at bay.

Updating Your Doctor

Be sure to update your physician every time you take new supplements, especially if you’re taking other medications. They might just interact and cause health issues that may even be serious. Or you just have to ensure that you can benefit from them as much as you can (for instance, calcium and magnesium compete for absorption so you shouldn’t take them simultaneously). Another common piece of advice from doctors when it comes to prescribing health supplements has something to do with taking certain vitamins with or without food.

Moreover, they can recommend the right dosage for you based on such factors as your age, lifestyle, gender, present health conditions (for example, having a nutrient deficiency), etc.

Shopping Wisely

Wise shoppers always begin by doing their homework. Check what each supplement does, along with its risks and benefits. Many people like to grabbing stuff off the shelf just because a friend recommended it or they saw it on TV. If you’re unsure, consult your doctor. And if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is but ask anyway.

com or the U.S.Pharmacopeia. These are independent organizations that assess health supplements and see whether their lists of ingredients are correct and if the products’ quality meets their standards. But they don’t check if these supplements have specific side effects.

And finally, just before you buy any product, take time to consider four key points. One, what benefits do you get? Two, what are the risks involved? Three, what is the recommended dosage? And fourth, how long do you have to take it? For any questions, you can call the manufacturer. It they don’t have a toll-free number (you can often find this on the label), that could be a red flag. Well-reputed health supplement makers always do.

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