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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24 Responses to “Dietary Supplements”

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Very cool and informative blog!

this reminds me that I need to start taking a multi-vitamin again! I sometimes feel like I don’t get enough in my diet and need to supplement!

I really like this post! It gives great info on supplements! I think this is a big issue because lots of people in America think that supplements are healthy when in reality some of them can be harmful. I love the info on what foods contain certain vitamins and minerals!

I agree that there is an overuse of some dietary supplements and vitamins, and in some cases a dependency on these products to provide the nutrients that should be coming from our diets. However, these supplements are so helpful for a lot people and improve their daily functioning. My dad has had knee surgery and back surgery, and takes fish oil every day to help his joints. This has really helped reduced pain and increased mobility for him. If these supplements are providing such benefits, I don’t see a problem.

So is it a good idea to take vitamins? or not? im not clear on that, ive heard different things from lots of different people.

I personally don’t take any vitamins because I feel that I can get what I need from regular meals. Plus- I’m an “anti-drug person” who will only take medicine or supplements when I need to. If you have a hard time getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs through a regular diet, it might be a good idea to take supplements, but I’m no expert! That’s just an opinion. 🙂

But it is so easy to pop a pill rather than fix a nutritious meal! 🙂

I take a multivitmin but i know i should just be getting them from natural healthy foods instead. its just too easy to take the vitamin.

It’s so interesting to see all of these facts. So many people think that all they have to do to make up for their lack is take a multivitamin, but some of them aren’t the best. Just like everything, we need more facts like this before we take certain multivitamins.

Supplements are good for those who cannot get the essential vitamins and minerals through their daily diet. Vitamins and minerals obtained from food sources have been proven to be better than those derived from supplements.

I find it interesting just how many depend on a multivitamin to get essential nutrients. I think too much emphasis is placed on how quick and easy it is to get those nutrients in pill form instead of getting them from a healthy diet!

I try to get all the nutrients I need from my regular diet, but I sometimes take a multi-vitamin to make sure I am getting everything I need to be healthy.

What about prenatal vitamins? I think that women that could be getting pregnant should be taking them.

I agree, I think that prenatal vitamins are a great idea for women who will become or who are already pregnant.

Very interesting.

Learned a lot, very informative. Can’t wait to see more posts!

I think that unless you have a condition or been told by your doctor that you should take supplements you should make all effort to try and eat healthy, but they are definitely good for specific circumstances.

This is such a controversially topic. I have heard both ways and still havent been able to form a solid opinion or understanding.

I hear different things, you should take this or that, and you should not have to take supplements if you eat right. Good post.

Vitamins are so confusing to me! I never know if I’m taking too many or not enough.

one of my buddies, Mike, takes all sorts of supplements.

yeah… i don’t know how I feel about dietary supplements. I have never really been a fan of them for some reason. but if they are used appropriately they could be a great help!

Great information and a great reminder of what we can do to help our bodies instead of just taking pills.

Eating good nutritious meals will replace those supplements

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