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The Pros And Cons Of Nutritional Supplements

nutritional supplements

​​​​​​​​Nutritional supplements can help you to get extra nutrients into your body without having to eat foods containing these nutrients. They typically take the form of pills, powders and tinctures. Examples include multivitamin tablets, cod liver oil capsules and creatine powders.

There are pros and cons to using nutritional supplements. These are important to consider before you start regularly taking supplements. Below are some of the biggest pros and cons weighed up.

The Pros

Supplements can be used to treat many health conditions that may be hard to treat through dieting

Certain nutritional deficiencies may be possible to treat by changing your diet. However, there may be others that cannot be treated this way. For example, a vitamin B12 deficiency could be the result of pernicious anemia. This causes the body to no longer absorb vitamin b12 as efficiently, which may result in the need to take supplements to help the body get its fix. This is likely to be easier than having to eat copious amounts of food containing vitamin b12.

Supplements can help to prevent health problems in certain situations where you may be at added risk

There are some cases where you may be advised to take supplements to avoid future possible health problems. For example, during pregnancy, most women can benefit from taking folic acid supplements. Studies have shown that taking folic acid while pregnant can reduce the risk of certain birth defects occurring. Most doctors recommend taking these supplements as a result.

Supplements could allow you to get certain nutrients into your body in situations where food containing those nutrients may be inaccessible

There may be cases where you cannot access certain foods. For example, if you are based somewhere where there is a shortage of fruit and vegetables, it may be advisable to take vitamin supplements. Getting the vitamins you need into your diet through food alone may not be possible in these circumstances.

The Cons

Supplements can not be used as a replacement for real food

You would not be able to survive on supplements alone. While you can buy almost every nutrient your body needs as a supplement, the body does not process these nutrients as easily as it processes nutrients from real food. This is because food is more familiar in its structure - our body expects to receive certain combinations of nutrients together. The likes of food concentrate may have benefits over supplements for this reason. Natural foods are meanwhile important for getting our fix of fibre and for hydrating us - something that supplements do not do.

Some people may experience side effects when using certain supplements

It’s common for many people to experience side effects when taking supplements regularly. Joint pain, headaches and digestive problems are some of the common minor side effects. Major side effects may include respiratory problems or blood in one’s urine. These are symptoms to look out for.

Some supplements can be potentially toxic if you consume too many of them

Taking too many certain nutrients may cause damage to your body. Specific vitamins and minerals may become toxic. It would help if you were careful of taking nutrients when taking supplements. Natural foods make it much harder to overeat a particular nutrient.


Disclaimer: This post is an information article however Sydney Chic does not offer medical or nutritional advice. Please consult a health professional before changing your diet or supplements.


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