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Supplements Good Vs. Bad

    “Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live”- Jim Rohn.  When I think of this quote, I think of the importance of the human body; how we should all take care of our bodies to our best abilities. It all starts with what we put into our body that determines the way our body performs. Therefore, proper nutrition is the key element in keeping your body healthy, but sometimes our diets are deficient in vitamins and minerals that can harm the body in the long run, resulting in several diseases and lack of energy. However, supplements have been used & talked about all over the world to increase health benefits & athletic performance. But are supplements really the go-to option when trying to have a healthy and active lifestyle? Furthermore, are they good for your health or are they bad for you? These are the most frequent questions asked in today’s world. There is a lot of confusion as to what supplements to take, how they should be used, and if you should be using them. I believe that everyone should take supplements because of the benefits they have in nutrition, health, and exercise performance.


    First, because of the benefits it has on nutrition, your body will be getting the proper amount of macro and micronutrients. Macronutrients are your protein, carbs, fats, and your micronutrients are your vitamins & minerals. For example, when a person eats less than optimal amounts of important vitamins, minerals, and other compounds can still contribute to several major illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis. To illustrate this, as stated in the article “Nutritional Supplements” by Heidi Splete, individuals who may benefit from nutritional supplements include those who don't eat well or do not eat enough for various reasons; those who follow a vegan, vegetarian, or other restrictive diets that eliminate large categories of foods; those who do not consume seafood, which provides omega-3 fatty acids important for heart health; those who have medical conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders or allergies that prevent them from consuming and retaining enough nutrients. This is explaining when and why supplements should be applied to our diet, resulting in the makeup of deficiency in our diet. To back this statement up, as shown in an article titled, “Dietary supplements: Do they help or hurt?” by the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, research finds our plates are lacking in a number of essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A,C, and D. This is showing us that we do not consume every vitamin & minerals are body needs, when only eating a regular diet. It is then clear, that supplements have a significant amount of benefits that should be taking into consideration.


    Secondly, supplements have health benefits that can decrease the chances of certain diseases from occurring when used properly. What this means is that you will be less likely to have cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, etc., when supplements are used accordingly to the way you eat. For instance, according to the article “the benefits of vitamin supplements “by Anthony L. Komoraff people who are at increased risk for developing osteoporosis (most older adults) are likely to benefit from a regular vitamin D supplement. This statement is pointing to the fact that there are supplements out there that can benefit the average adult. Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier in the article “Nutritional Supplements” by Heidi Splete, she states another good point when she mentioned, “that supplements are also important for heart health for those who are lactose intolerance or otherwise do not consume enough dairy foods”. This shows the importance of supplement use and its benefits on the heart. In today’s world, we should all analyze our health & diet to see what changes we can make and what supplements we can include, to make up for the deficiencies of vitamins and minerals within our diet.


    On another note, there are supplements out there that are meant to increase energy production. Keep in mind that performance supplements nor any other supplements cannot substitute for a healthy diet. Some of these supplements do have value depending on the type of training and intensity. As stated in the article written by “The National Institute of Health, ” performance supplements can contain many ingredients like vitamins and minerals, proteins, amino acids, and herbs, in different amounts, and in many combinations, which can improve recovery and performance. What this author is indicating in this article, is that there is some evidence pointing towards supplements that contain certain ingredients that will enhance recovery & exercise performance. Some of these ingredients include creatine, beta-alanine, betaine, and citrulline. These ingredients, as any supplements, should also be taken in the recommended dosage. Another article titled “Supplements for Athletes, a Nutritional Edge” by Bradley Homer also states, “that certain dietary supplements have both nutritional and ergogenic potential”. What this author means is that supplements can provide benefits beyond those gained from food alone. Subsequently, be sure to consider all factors when choosing any dietary supplement and always consult with your doctor beforehand.


   

Some research argues that supplements are bad for you and should not be taking at all. According to the article titled “What you need to know about Dietary Supplements” by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, “Many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations and hurt or complicate your health. For example, the following actions could lead to harmful – even life-threatening – consequences.” But, they also state that this occurs when you are combining supplements, using supplements with medicines (whether prescription or over-the-counter), substituting supplements for prescription medicine, taking too much of some supplements, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, or iron, or before, during and after surgery. However, this is the reason why it is vitally important to inform your healthcare provider, including your pharmacist about any supplements you are taking. Also, make sure that you take no more than what is required on the supplement bottle. This is usually where, in most cases, people go wrong. They assume the more supplements they take the better the results they will get. Unfortunately, this is the complete opposite, which will then put your health at extremely high risk.


    In addition, another article titled “Vitamin pills, popping too many?” by Jeanie Lerche Davis states “that Americans are popping more supplements now than they ever were before.” Therefore, most people are afraid of taking supplements because consumers are overdoing the products and putting a bad reputation on supplements that can help when used properly. For example, In this same article, Rosenbloom made a valid point when she said “If you're eating two energy bars a day, plus a protein shake that is vitamin-fortified, plus taking vitamin supplements you don't need all that.” This is a great example of how people abuse supplements because they fear they are not getting enough vitamins or minerals within their diet. In addition, people also believe that overloading on supplements will produce quicker results or increase their strength. Yet, most people still are not getting the right vitamins despite their best efforts, says Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., professor of Nutrition at Tufts University in Boston. So, even though these research arguments are laying out the bad effects of supplement use; they still layout the benefits it has if it is aligned with your meal plan.


    To sum up, there is enough evidence out there that proves that supplements are good for you when safely used. First, the benefits it has on your body through an adequate amount of nutrition.  Secondly, the health benefits it has when decreasing or minimizing the risks of multiple diseases. Lastly, the benefits it has on your performance during your training, which can help you maximize your results. Therefore, Do I believe supplements should be a part of your diet? Absolutely! However, make sure you consult with a doctor beforehand, who would take into count the type of diet you are on; and what vitamins and minerals your diet is deficient in. To conclude, keep in mind the importance of the human body and always remember it is the only place you have to live.   

 


Work Cited Page

Works Cited
Dietary supplements: Do they help or hurt? Harvard Women's Health Watch, Jan. 2013, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/dietary-supplements-do-they-help-or-hurt. Accessed 2 July 2020. Advertisement.
"Dietary Supplements for Exercise and Athletic Performance." The National Institute of Health, 29 Nov. 2017, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/ExerciseAndAthleticPerformance-Consumer/. Accessed 19 July 2020.
Dupler, Douglas. "Nutritional Supplements." The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, edited by Jacqueline L. Longe, 6th ed., vol. 6, Gale, 2020, pp. 3697-3700. Gale Health and Wellness, https://link-gale-com.nvcproxy.alamo.edu/apps/doc/CX7986601335/HWRC?u=txshracd2891&sid=HWRC&xid=56a89b68. Accessed 2 July 2020.
Komaroff, Anthony L. "The benefits of vitamin supplements." Harvard Health Publishing, Aug. 2015, www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/the-benefits-of-vitamin-supplements. Accessed 19 July 2020.
Splete, Heidi. "Nutritional supplements." Gale Health and Wellness Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Gale Health and Wellness, https://link-gale-com.nvcproxy.alamo.edu/apps/doc/OGQQLB218996961/HWRC?u=txshracd2891&sid=HWRC&xid=d93acb24. Accessed 2 July 2020
"What You Need to Know about Dietary Supplements." US Food and Drug Administration, 29 Nov. 2017, www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/what-you-need-know-about-dietary-supplements#:~:text=Yes.,even%20life%2Dthreatening%20%E2%80%93%20consequences. Accessed 27 July 2020.