Home Natural Supplements Assessing the Merits of Dietary Supplements for Balanced Nutrition

Assessing the Merits of Dietary Supplements for Balanced Nutrition


According to Harvard Health, the recommended daily intake of nutrients is as follows:

  • Iron – 8 mg with a maximum of 45 mg
  • Folate – 400 mcg a maximum of 1000 mcg
  • Calcium – up to 1200 mg daily with a limit of 2000 mg
  • Vitamin E – 15 mg daily with a maximum of 1000 mg
  • Vitamin D – 600 to 800 IU with a maximum of 4000 IU
  • Vitamin A – 700 mcg RAE with a maximum of 3000 mcg RAE
  • Vitamin C – 75 mg with a maximum of 2000 mg
  • Vitamin B12 – 2.4 MCG with no upper limit

Typical diets do not provide for all of our required daily nutrient intake. For this reason, the dietary supplement industry has boomed in recent times, becoming a multi-billion dollar a year enterprise, whose efficacy is often questioned by the scientific community. Supplements are geared towards providing the necessary nutrition required to boost our immune systems, fight off infection, stay healthy, and ensure a long life. Unbeknownst to many people, supplements don’t always help, are not always absorbed, and can be detrimental when mixed.

Among the most popular supplements currently making the rounds are shiitake mushroom supplements, vitamin D supplements, omega three fatty acids, ginseng supplements, beta carotene, and curcumin (made with organic curcumin and curcuminoids). Unfortunately, many of the observational studies conducted on dietary supplementation fail to account for myriad factors including diet, exercise, placebo effect, lifestyle factors, et cetera. Caution is advised, however. As a powerful supplement, Vitamin E supplements can actually be harmful to individuals since they can create conditions ripe for bleeding strokes.

Balanced Meals are the Best Way to Acquire Needed Vitamins, Supplements, & Nutrients

While supplementation done right is certainly advisable, it is always best to get your dietary nutrient, vitamin, and mineral intake from natural foods that you consume on a daily basis.  One of the dietary supplements that has been gaining recognition in recent years is shiitake mushrooms. A staple in Oriental traditional medicine, shiitake mushroom supplements have benefited from increased exposure in Western culture as a de facto nutritional supplement. Among the many benefits of consuming a recommended dose of a shiitake mushroom supplement are longevity, improved heart health, high levels of Vitamin D, better circulation, and strong antioxidant properties which are beneficial as anti-cancer agents.

Again, a caveat is in order. While supplements are naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, they can affect our biology. This makes them potentially dangerous, even though they’re not prescription medications. When combined incorrectly or with prescribed medication, supplements can be detrimental to your health, possibly even life-threatening. In the United States, the FDA does not review the statements made by supplement manufacturers and does not endorse the products either. While the FDA may review ingredients in supplements, the FDA does not approve supplements for use by the public. However, FDA removal of unsafe supplements from the market occurred and does occur.

Natural is Not Always Safe, Advised or Recommended

There is a strong disconnect between consumers and the reality of what constitutes a viable, beneficial supplement. For example, the word natural should not be mistaken for safe, or advised, or recommended. It is always better to validate the oftentimes spurious claims of supplement manufacturers for safety’s sake. In Ireland, the Food Safety Authority (FSA) regulates food supplements, according to European directives. Oversight authorities routinely recommend weighing up the pros and cons of different supplements. By doing this, you can assess the likely benefit of taking supplements.

As far as mushroom supplements are concerned, individuals with intolerances, allergies, or aversions to fungi should probably avoid this form of supplementation. Although, the evidence tends to suggest that adverse effects of consuming mushroom supplements are usually from uncooked mushrooms. Overall, mushrooms are a noted superfood, with zero cholesterol, zero gluten, low-sodium, and copious amounts of necessary antioxidants. It is always a good idea to have a medical workup conducted to assess overall health if you feel unwell. If deficiencies or imbalances exist, a new regimen of dietary supplements can certainly be initiated.

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