Melita Health and Beauty Malta

Food Supplements

Posted on: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Food Supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients and other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect including vitamins, minerals, herbals, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes and fish oils.

Scientific evidence shows that although SOME dietary supplements are beneficial for overall health and managing some health conditions, they should only be used to SUPPLEMENT the normal diet and NOT TO REPLACE the variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet.

Whilst most of the evidence is based on years of experience and few have been neglected to clinical trials, as all medicines have to, before being put on the market.

SAFETY AND RISKS: Many supplements contain active ingredients that can have strong effects in the body. Taking many supplements in COMBINATION or in HIGH DOSES can cause SIDE EFFECTS.

Being natural does NOT mean it is HARMLESS. Many dietary supplements can interact with certain prescription drugs, causing problems.

Some examples include:

  • VITAMIN K – can reduce the ability of blood thinners to prevent blood from clotting.
  • JOHNS WORT – can speed the breakdown of medicinal drugs and therefore reducing the effectiveness.
  • ANTIOXIDANT SUPPLEMENTS – might reduce the effectiveness of some types of cancer chemotherapy.
  • Many foods (ex: cereals) and beverages now have added vitamins. Read labels carefully to check that you are not getting too much. MORE does NOT mean BETTER! Too much Vitamin A can cause headaches, liver damage, reduce bone strength and cause birth defects

Be careful about taking supplements if you are PREGNANT or NURSING, and before giving them to children. Keep ahead of new information. For example MANUKA HONEY has recently been declared to be not suitable for children under 2 years.

It is important to buy quality supplements. There have been issues of dietary supplements being contaminated with heavy metals, so always make sure that what is on the label is safe and exactly what is found in the product. If in doubt ask assistance from your pharmacist.

As a general rule only buy products which guarantee MEDICINAL GRADE MANUFACTURE and very important, check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

Mega doses could be dangerous. Generally, do not exceed the daily recommended doses for vitamins and minerals, because these supplements are in addition to the food you eat and potential toxicities can occur.

Be especially careful with MINERALS AND FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS which can build up in your system.

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Fernand Fenech