Many people in the United States use dietary supplements daily. These supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, proteins, amino acids and enzymes. Food supplements are used as tablets, capsules, supplement powders or beverage liquids.. Common supplements include vitamins D, E And B, Minerals such as calcium and iron, coenzymes including CoQ10, Medicinal herbs include Echinacea angustifolia and garlic, specific products such as Glucosamine, Probiotics and fish oil.
Pharmaceutical Supplement ID tag: All supplement products have a nutritional supplement label or an ID. The identifier contains the type of ingredient in the supplement, the amount of compound in each supplement, as well as a list of other additives..
Effect of supplements: For some people, despite the intake of nutrients, for some reasons, such as malnutrition or lack of complete absorption of food, there is a pressing need for daily dietary supplements.. For example, calcium and vitamins D are essential for maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis, or consuming folic acid during pregnancy greatly reduces the risk of some fetal abnormalities. Also taking fish oil capsules may help prevent or control heart disease.
Safety and risks of taking supplements: Many dietary supplements contain active ingredients that have beneficial or sometimes harmful effects on the body’s organs. Therefore, unintended side effects of improper nutritional supplements should always be considered. The important point is that dietary supplements can never be a complete and adequate source of many of the essential nutrients found in a healthy diet or substitute for medications prescribed by your doctor. Concomitant use of various supplements along with certain medications under special circumstances may also lead to drug complications that are dangerous in many cases. Here are some examples of the complications between supplements and medications:
- Vitamin K can reduce diluting effects of Warfarin Or Coumadin. Patients who need to take Warfarin daily should be given the label of any dietary supplement they want to consume K vitamin. You need to take special care and consult with your treating physician or pharmacist.
- Simultaneous use of Warfarin or aspirin with Ginkgo Or vitamins E, can increase the amount of blood thinning and put the patient at risk of internal bleeding.
- St. John’s Wort Supplements can increase the breakdown rate of many drugs and thereby reduce their effectiveness (For example many antidepressants, anti HIV, Epileptic drugs and birth control pills).
- Antioxidant supplements like vitamins C and E can reduce the effect of some chemotherapy drugs.
- Some supplements should be discontinued two to three weeks before surgery.
- Taking certain supplements such as iron and calcium can absorb some drugs (Like antibiotics) and you should have a proper interval between their uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
- Some medication supplements can cause toxicity or drug side effects. For example, vitamin A overdose can cause liver damage, headache, decreased bone resistance, or fetal abnormalities. Too much iron can cause nausea, vomiting, or liver damage.
It is important to note that the label of dietary supplements can contain a variety of claims to improve health or prevent disease while the label necessarily states that these claims are not substantiated, reviewed and approved by FDA. Therefore the claims cited on the label do not have a scientific basis.
Unlike prescription drugs, medication supplements do not require FDA approval to enter the market. Consumers should therefore pay particular attention to whether or not to take these supplements and seek advice from a physician or pharmacist.