What is a Dietary Supplement Really?
Definition of Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements are intended to add to a persons existing diet,
ingredients including vitamins, herbs, amino acids and minerals that
are insufficient or totally missing. These supplements can be taken
orally in the form of pills, capsules, powder or liquid and are also
referred to as food or nutritional supplements. These supplements are
also not for use as conventional food or sole meal or diet items. You
will also notice that the words Dietary Supplement are explicitly
stated on the container containing the supplement.
Over-the-Counter Dietary Supplement Popularity
Over-the-counter dietary supplements are growing more and more in
popularity due to the believe that its a magic cure for obesity and
general over-weight. Diet drugs are a multibillion dollar
industry in the United Stated of America. Many people think by
substituting exercise and balanced low calorie meals with dietary
supplements that their problems will be solved overnight. The instant
weight loss appeal although tempting must be carefully considered.
Dietary supplements can have a possible weight loss effect initially
but consumption would have to be maintained to stay on the achieved
weight which can be dangerous and unpractical. Many factors drive
overweight and obese people to dietary supplements such as social
stigma, health benefits, frustration caused by previous diet failures,
media and advertising claims, ease of accessibility from your
supermarket or drug store without any prescription and fear or laziness
to do necessary lifestyle changes.
Types of Weight-Loss Drugs
Two main types of weight loss drugs are available. One being
prescription drugs and the second over-the-counter weight loss
remedies. Over-the-Counter weight loss products including herbal
supplements are classified as dietary supplements. Hoodia, Green Tea,
Country Mallow and Guar Gum are herbal dietary supplements. Ephedra,
Chromium, Chitosan are over-the-counter dietary supplements. Orlistat,
Sibutramine and Phentermine are prescription drugs. Some weight loss
pills contain a concoction of ingredients including caffeine and
Currently in the USA alone 50 individual dietary supplements and 125
combination dietary supplements are available to combat weight problems
and non of these supplements comply with usage recommendation criteria.
Dietary supplement regulations is a tricky matter as its not so
strictly regulated as prescription medications. Ungrounded health
claims can easily be based upon manufacturers' own interpretation of
studies and reviews. However claims should be submitted for review to
the FDA as well as evidence furnished of safety and affectivity of the
dietary supplement. The FDA has also now introduced good manufacturing
practices that must be upheld by the manufacturers of the supplements.
Supplements must be produced in quality manner, free from contaminants
or impurities and 100% accurately labelled. Regulation and
classification differs from country to country. In some countries the
supplements are classified as foods and in others as drugs.
Over Dosage Dangers
Daily recommended dosages should always be followed. Over dosage of
dietary supplements in an attempt to loose greater amounts of weight
can be extremely dangerous. Consumers should understand that a
supplement only adds, it cannot be consumed solely but rather with
food. Over dosage can occure eaily causing toxic diseases. Special care
must be taken with minerals and vitamins that can build up in your
system such as Vitamin A, D, E and K.
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