Dietary Supplements Vs Medications
Dietary supplements, whether in powder, liquid or pill form, are designed to enhance health and add nutrients. They may contain vitamins, minerals, herbs or botanicals, amino acids or enzymes. Multivitamins, omega 3, DHA or EPA fatty acids tablets or fish oil capsules are some of the most popular supplements.
Many people think that supplements can help them cure their ailments. This can lead you to falsely reassure yourself, delay diagnosis and treatments, or even mask symptoms. Vitamin B6 taken in high doses can cause excess excretion into the urine. This can mask symptoms of nerve damage, such as tingling or numbness. Similarly, taking high doses of some herbs can cause toxic side effects, such as liver or kidney damage.
In addition, supplements can interact with medications and interfere with lab tests or surgery. For these reasons, you should discuss any supplements with your health care provider before using them.
Despite all the efforts made by the supplement industry to make the distinction between Supplements vs Medications, the line is still not clearly defined. The DSHEA law was passed 25 year ago and does not specify the characteristics of a dietary supplements. It’s the intent that counts, not the source or chemical structure.
In some cases, there is no doubt about the intention, but not in others. This is especially the case with herbals. These are regulated and regulated by FDA for dietary supplements even though they could be used to make drugs. This has caused an increase in herbal products being sold as both dietary suppliments and drugs.
The prevalence of concurrent drug and dietary supplement use in older adults is high. In a survey of Americans aged 65 years and older, 68% (95 % CI, 64.8%-71.1%) also took dietary supplements.
This trend is a result of the public’s desire for natural remedies, and the ease with which supplements can be purchased. Customers can easily find the right supplements by watching TV commercials or social media influencers. They can also ask their friends, neighbors, or coworkers for recommendations. The proliferation of marketing for vitamins and other supplements makes it harder than ever before to determine which are safe or effective. Which can provide real benefits to health and which could be harmful.
Supplements should never replace a healthy diet, even if it’s tempting to boost immunity during a coronavirus outbreak or to give your body the energy you need to keep up with family and work obligations. Moreover the tendency to “diseaseify”, or make normal attributes and activities of life worse (e.g. menstrual discomfort, acne, enlargements of the prostate as you age), should not be permitted to erode any distinctions between drugs, and dietary suppliments.