The most effective and useful dietary supplements

dietary supplements

Food supplements correspond to a generic term which generally includes classic vitamins and minerals as well as products extracted from plants.

In most cases, the term “food supplement” means a preparation of vitamins and or minerals, that is to say a product containing at least 10 vitamins and/or minerals.

But it is also possible to take an isolated food supplement, such as vitamin C, omega 3, vitamin D, or even spirulina.

The purpose of this article is to give you all the information you need to know about food supplements, to be well informed and make the right choices.

Taking food supplements is not trivial, and above all it is expensive. Whether it is to gain muscle and gain weight, for your health, in the event of illness or deficiencies, or to lose weight, it is important to know the right information.

What are the best dietary supplements?

The best dietary supplements are those that fill an existing deficiency, or lack. Depending on your lifestyle, your diet, your gender and your genetics, you may then need magnesium , omega 3 , vitamin D , probiotics , iron.

Let’s take the example of vitamin D. More than half of the French population has a vitamin D deficiency, due to lack of exposure to the sun. But here too, rather than jumping on a food supplement as a first step, you can start with the following two tips:

  • Go out, walk in nature, play sports outdoors rather than indoors.
  • Have a varied diet. Certain foods contain high levels of vitamin D: oily fish (salmon, trout, herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna), calf’s liver, soy drinks (generally enriched with vitamins), certain mushrooms or yolk of egg.

Another example of a case justifying the taking of food supplements: vegetarians or vegans who are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Since this vitamin is mainly present only in products of animal origin, taking a food supplement is more than recommended.

Dietary supplements may also play an important role for certain high-risk groups. For example, adults with osteoporosis may need more vitamin D and calcium than their diet can provide.

Supplements may also help people with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease. These conditions make it difficult to absorb certain nutrients.

The take-home message here is that supplements prescribed by a doctor are helpful for people with certain medical conditions, or deficiencies. Otherwise, it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals through real food, not a pill.

Dietary supplements for weight loss

To lose weight, no dietary supplement seems effective. Some can allow you to quickly lose pounds, but these pounds correspond to the elimination of water, due to the diuretic effect.

The pounds lost are then immediately regained as soon as you stop taking the food supplement. In addition, it is not possible to lose a lot of weight, because the elimination of kilos in the form of water is limited.

Caffeine and green tea seem to have the most research to substantiate possible slimming benefits, by boosting fat loss. However, the effects are minimal.

Finally, dietary supplements for weight loss can also cause side effects. Before taking any weight loss supplement, it is best to consult a doctor or other health professional.

Are food supplements useful?

Most people do not need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need by following a healthy, balanced diet.

Indeed, it is easy not to change anything concerning his bad eating habits or his way of life and choose the food supplement option, for convenience. It is important not to fall into this trap because no dietary supplement can replace healthy lifestyle habits that confer much greater benefits.

The effectiveness of dietary supplements

It is true that we hear a lot of miracle virtues concerning dietary supplements. For example, taking a vitamin D supplement would be effective against a long list of illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, depression, and even the common cold.

Omega-3s have been touted for their protection against strokes and other cardiovascular disorders. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and beta-carotene have been seen as promising solutions to fight heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease.

In reality, there is little evidence that they offer any significant health benefits. In fact, a recent and serious study even revealed that the four most commonly used supplements (multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C) did not protect against cardiovascular disease.

Often, the excitement around these dietary supplements exceeds the scientific evidence. The media distort the results or rely on a single study result, without being interested in all the others that already exist and may contradict the first.

Indeed, many studies (mainly observational studies) do not control for other important parameters such as dietary habits, level of exercise and other variables. They cannot prove that taking the dietary supplement alone is responsible for the health benefits.

More often than not, people who take dietary supplements tend to be more health conscious, exercise more, have a healthier diet, etc. Inevitably, they have a better form and health thanks to this lifestyle.

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