Dietary Supplements & General Information

Dietary Supplements

A dietary supplement is a product that a person takes by mouth, which contains nutritional ingredients meant for addition to the normal diet. These extra nutritional ingredients may include minerals, vitamins, botanicals, herbs, amino acids, organ tissues, metabolites and glandular. Ingredients like extracts or combinations such as soft gels, liquids, oils, capsules, tablets and powders can also constitute a dietary supplement.

Dietary supplements can also be found as bars and in other forms but they are classified as food and not as drugs.

Classifications of Dietary Supplements

The dietary supplements can be classified into the following four classes.

Herbs and Botanicals

Dietary supplements of herbs consist of natural products. These products are active ingredients or extracts from plant roots, stems, seeds, leaves, flowers or buds. An herbal product can be an extract of two or more active ingredients or they may be whole plant. Herbal extracts are being used to maintain low cholesterol, good health and help in disease control. People generally have a wrong view that because they are natural, these dietary supplements are good for health.

An example of a dangerous dietary supplement is ephedra extract. This is generally used for weight loss and energy boosting. It causes muscle injury, blood pressure, nerve damage, and stroke or memory loss. It is banned, but any dietary supplement containing this herb extract should never be used.

Many herbs prove to be very good dietary supplements. Some of these are listed below.

Grape Seed Antioxidant

Grape seed dietary supplement has concentrated extract of active ingredients from the seed of grapes. This product shows antioxidant properties and acts as a free radicals remover.

Oxy-Gen 3 flavors

Oxy-Gen is an Aloe Vera dietary supplement that provides improved oxygen for the human body.

Other herbal dietary supplements include cranberry, garlic, green tea, ginkgo biloba, etc.

Vitamins

Vitamin dietary supplements contain essential vitamins that are needed by many cell reactions and body functions. Certain vitamins exhibit antioxidant behavior too which remove the free radicals from the body. Some vitamins present in dietary supplements are not manufactured within human body such as vitamin K and vitamin D. A healthy body that has a supply of good balanced diet doesn’t need vitamin supplements, as over usage of such dietary supplements can cause liver damage.

Vitamins are of two types: water soluble and fat soluble. The water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and the 7 vitamin Bs can dissolve in water and hence are not stored in any significant amount within the human body. The fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K are stored in the fats of the body. Fresh fruits or vitamin dietary supplement is used by people to ensure proper amount of water soluble vitamins.

Vitamin A & D (25,000 IU/1,000 IU)

This dietary supplement is rich in vitamin A and vitamin D, which are both needed by many cell functions and body reactions for release of energy.

B-12 / Folic Acid Combo

B12 and folic acid belong to the vitamin B family and support action of the C vitamin. It also helps to strengthen the acid present in the stomach for better digestion.

Other vitamin dietary supplements include vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, vitamin K, Vitamin B12, B6, B3 and many more.

Minerals

Mineral dietary supplements contain minerals required by body fluids and tissues like bones, brain, teeth, liver, brain, blood, muscle and nerve cells. There are approximately 60 minerals that are present in a human body but 22 out of them are necessary. To have the proper amounts of minerals, good healthy food and dietary supplements are advised.

Dietary supplements contain two types of minerals required by the body. The major minerals, which are the ones that are required by the body in large amounts, are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chlorides and sulfur. Body requirement for these minerals is almost 250 grams each day. The trace minerals are copper, iodine, fluoride, manganese, iron, zinc and chromium and are required in small quantities. The amount that should be taken of trace mineral is about 20 milligram each day.

Liquid Life Ultra Calcium w/Ostivone

This mineral dietary supplement contains easily absorbing calcium along with several other trace minerals.

75 Plant Derived Minerals

75 plant derived mineral dietary supplement is natural and the purest source of minerals. It provides many minerals not produced within the body.

Nutritional Supplements

These dietary supplements include fish oils, compounds present in food such as flavonoids, CoQ10 and many more.

Who needs dietary Supplements?

Dietary supplements are needed by all those people who have deficiency of certain nutrients in their diet or body due to lack of proper vitamin and mineral rich foods or lack of enough food. Athletes, vegetarians, older people and pregnant women can use dietary supplements for better health.

Dietary Supplement Selection and Use

Dietary supplements provide extra nutritional ingredients and are not a replacement of food. Natural foods provide many complex compounds that are needed by the human body in many function and cell metabolism. These products are only to be used to improve body function. Before you actually opt for a supplement bear the following points in mind.

It may be wise to avoid all the dietary supplements that have large or mega servings. Over usage can cause nutrient toxicity. Many dietary supplements contain herbal and botanical extracts that are known to cause severe side effects. You must have complete and viable information about the ingredients. Natural vitamins are more expensive and if any company offers very low prices then they may not be genuine. Check the label of the supplement and note the amount of nutrients in each serving. The label of the medicine should have USP written on it which means that the dietary supplement meets the US Pharmacopeia standar

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Whole Food Supplements

Alternative To Typical Synthetic Supplements Is Needed, Say Experts

Whole food supplements is currently a topic of worldwide interest. A profusion of evidence has recently come to light suggesting that ordinary synthetic multivitamin supplements may be hazardous to your health. Goran Bjelakovic, a respected scientist from the University of Copenhagen, headed up a massive meta-study that looked at the results of 67 placebo-controlled trials previously undertaken to determine the effects of vitamin and anti-oxidant supplements on longevity. In the end, the study combined observations of 232 000 test subjects. By using such a large population sample, a study can become much more powerful with regards to spotting large-scale trends and overcoming human bias.

The results of the analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, were nothing less than shocking. Looking at patients with diabetes, heart disease and lung cancer, as well as healthy, normal individuals, there was no apparent benefit to taking popular fractionated supplements like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Selenium, or beta-Carotene. In fact, the results went in the opposite direction – there was an increased chance of death (16 percent) amongst Vitamin A users, a 7 percent higher death rate amongst beta-Carotene users, and a 4 percent mortality increase in Vitamin E users. Beta-Carotene and Retinol, promoted as anti-carcinogenic agents, may promote lung cancer. That’s right – pills marketed as helping you towards a longer, healthier life are in fact correlated with a speedier demise. This study used typical supplements on the market made from synthetic vitamins.

To add insult to injury, a recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition under the unimaginative title of “Ascorbic Acid Supplementation Does Not Attenuate Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness Following Muscle-Damaging Exercise But May Delay The Recovery Process” indicated that supplementation with anti-oxidants from synthetic sources may reverse many of the beneficial effects of physical training.

Now, this is not to say that anti-oxidants or vitamins are bad for you. Far from it – these supplements were created on the basis of solid science. Anti-oxidants are still believed to protect cells from the ravages of free radicals. The problem, rather, is the idea that you can get those benefits from synthetic isolated compounds. Disease and the aging process are usually far more complicated than test-tube studies can account for. Furthermore, the issue of bioavailability is an ever-present concern. Many typical synthetic supplements include huge amounts of the advertised vitamin, but lack the additional compounds needed to ensure that their key ingredients are actually absorbed by the body. Passing straight through the digestive tract, these ‘miracle health cures’ often wind up doing little beyond giving people expensive urine. To the rescue…Whole Food Supplements.

What the layperson should take from all this is not a sense that we’ve made no progress in the last century regarding uncovering adequate means of personal health maintenance. There’s one thing that nobody is disputing, and that’s the importance of a healthy, well-rounded diet replete in fruit, orange, yellow and dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, high quality carbohydrates and lean proteins and supplementation from whole food supplements. . When you avoid taking in harmful chemicals such as those in food preservatives, flavorings, flavor enhancers and ‘synthetic vitamin additives’, you’ll not only reduce your intake of toxins. You’ll also be forced to tap into the most nutritionally reliable source available, namely natural nutrition. Human beings have evolved to consume unprocessed plant and animal food sources. Recent research suggests that the superiority of natural ratios and formulations has been massively undervalued.

Whole food supplements are foods that haven’t been processed or refined, or have undergone as little processing as possible for preservation or human consumption. Much as is the case with organic food, whole food supplements call for the avoidance of chemically assisted agriculture. The concept is one of a minimization of human interference with the processes of nature. This is based on the guiding principle that nature’s products make for healthier products than the products of human industry.

While this is a claim met by much resistance from the refined food and pharmaceutical industries, it’s being repeatedly borne out by the results of research. A study of women shifted from a diet high in processed foods to one replete with whole foods and whole food supplements resulted in a 61% decrease in saturated fat intake. They also experienced increases in dietary fiber of 60 percent, a 45 percent increase in vitamin E, a 60 percent improvement in vitamin C intake, and a five-fold increase in carotene intake. The net result of this new phytochemical-rich diet was an induced drop in total cholesterol of 13 percent – meaning less risk of heart disease and stroke, statistically still the biggest killers of people in first world countries. In the short term, they also saw vast improvements in bowel function and overall perceived health. Clearly whole food supplements are preferable to typical synthetic supplementation.

So the message, actually, seems to be rather clear. Eat a diet comprised primarily of whole foods and whole food supplements, and you’ll be a shoe-in for long life and a vital, healthy old age. It sounds simple, but there is a problem with that approach, at least in our current era of constant industry and nine-to-five workdays. Progressively, people in developed countries are struggling to keep up with the clock. Even as work-induced stress makes the disciplinary challenge of sticking to a diet more daunting, so spending what little free time one has on grocery shopping can seem like its own special kind of waste. Unlike processed foods, whole foods are not very easily stored, meaning that to eat according to such a diet, you’ll need to visit a farmer’s market and buy your food fresh every few days. This is where well-meaning eaters so often falter in the journey towards health improvement and a trimmer waistline, entering the lifelong trend of yo-yo dieting.

Furthermore, many foods may not even be available in certain countries. Tell someone that lives in South Africa to eat more kale and you might as well be informing them of the beneficial effects of zero gravity.

Bent on finding their way around these obstacles to simple health maintenance, scientists have worked an angle that may sound, at first blush, a little counterintuitive. The goal of pharmaceutical supplementation has always been to preserve or improve upon the nutritional efficacy of whole foods in tablet and powder form. Through a rigorous process of trial and error, it was discovered that, by curing vegetables, herbs and other nutrient sources, grinding them up into powder, and forming that powder into tablets or capsules, it was possible to retain much of their nourishing value .This is only true of whole food supplements that have been processed using little or no heat. And so, it appears, one can finally enjoy the benefits of healthy eating via the simple act of popping a few pills. The benefit over ordinary eating is in the combinations of nutrient sources (and the quantities thereof) chosen, designed to complement each other and aid in the most complete, favorable absorption of the ingredients. Due to the incredible decrease in size that desiccation b

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