Dietary Supplements

Posted on March 30, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |












Supplements are used by Americans every day for a variety of reasons. Many believe that they are being ‘healthy’ if they are taking their daily dietary supplements. While supplements are great for those who have special conditions (vegetarian, anemic, etc.), I think that we can get the nutrients we need from our regular diet.

About Dietary Supplements

Information from the  National Center for  Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) says that “dietary supplements were defined in a law passed by Congress in 1994 called theDietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA)”. According to DSHEA, a dietary supplement is a product that:

  • Is intended to supplement the diet
  • Contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and certain other substances) or their constituents
  • Is intended to be taken by mouth, in forms such as tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap, or liquid
  • Is labeled as being a dietary supplement.

Which Supplements are Most Popular?

Vitamin D:

Some of the vitamin D you need comes from the food you eat, but most of it is made by your body after exposure to sun. Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and the two nutrients are often combined into one supplement. An average adult needs about 400 IU of vitamin D.

Fish Oil-Omega 3:

Omega-3 fatty acids will help prevent cardiovascular disease. Fatty fish is the best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, though plants such as flax contain omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that 0.5 to 1.8 grams of fish oil per day is an effective amount.


Many people don’t eat enough calcium-containing foods. This can add to a person’s risk of developing osteoporosis, or weakened bones. The recommended amount of calcium for most adults is about 1200 mg per day.

Folic Acid:

Folate is a B vitamin and folic acid is the supplemental form of folate. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruit and legumes. Folic acid supplementation is recommended for any woman who may become pregnant and may also help reduce homocysteine levels, which might help reduce the risk of heart disease. The recommended amount for adults is 400 mcg per day.


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