What Are Dietary Supplements?

Do you ever wonder why there is a sharp increase in the consumption rate of dietary supplements? The answer is simple: the global health crisis has made people more health-conscious. The rise in the sale of supplements by different retailers signaled a nutrition gap caused by the consumption of an unbalanced diet. Today the food market is full of less nutritious food products. This paper intends to guide you on the benefits of health supplements. 

Below are the common supplements included and their benefits.

1. Vitamins 

Vitamin supplements come in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, powders and liquids (drinks). There are a variety of vitamins, from Vitamin E, Vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and vitamin D to vitamin B12, to mention a few.

Each category of vitamins adds a unique health benefit to your body, while some categories are complementary in their functions. For instance,
• Vitamin E- helps repair DNA while Vitamin B12 builds the DNA. Vitamin A and Vitamin D support bone formation. Vitamin E also helps in wound healing and is one of the vitamins for breast pain.

• B vitamins- support bowel growth in addition to producing healthy blood cells and maintaining healthy skin cells, brain cells and other body tissues. B vitamins help in metabolism. 

• Vitamin D- is commonly referred to as a fat-soluble vitamin. Its ability to help the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus is critical to bone formation. Without vitamin D, the prevalence of deformities, such as rickets in children and bone pain conditions known as osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults, is high.

• Vitamin A strengthens the body’s immune system and protects it against any illness and infection. It also supports healthy eyesight for better vision in dim light. Vitamin A prevents cognitive decline. 

In general, vitamin supplements have the following benefits to your health.
• Reduces anxiety and stress management
• Improves cardiovascular health.
• Increases cognitive function and brain health.
• Increases energy levels.
• Supports healthy ageing

2. Botanicals or herbs

Botanical dietary supplements are derived from plants, plant parts or extracts. They contain one or multiple ingredients purposely to supplement your diet. Botanical or herbal supplements may contain nutrients which can boost the immune system and reduce breast pain
The supplements are made in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, soft gels, gelcaps, liquid, and powder. The most common botanical supplements for our health include echinacea, green tea extract, garlic, and evening primrose oil. 

3. Botanical compounds

These products are the most effective supplements for treating and curing various diseases and illnesses. Many botanical compounds reveal strong levels of antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic substances. These substances are critical in curing ocular diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and retinitis pigmentosa. 

Some of the plant-derived compounds include
• Curcumin
• Lutein
• Zeaxanthin
• Danshen
• Ginseng
• Caffeine 

4. Minerals

They include calcium, magnesium, folate and iron. Each mineral supplement plays a special role in maintaining a healthy working system in our body. For instance,

• Magnesium- is an essential mineral for bone health and energy production. Its uptake, whether sourced directly from the food we cook or supplements, is very critical in support of other functions of the body. 
Magnesium supplements are meant to manage high blood press and mood, regulate blood sugar, and cure conditions related to heart disease. Other benefits include controlling the normal nerve and muscle system.

• Calcium – this category of supplements is for treating and preventing osteoporosis – a borne condition caused by weak bones making them break easily. Osteoporosis is a precursor of osteopenia. Individuals with weak bones should consider Calcium supplements as their remedy. 
• Iron- the supplementation of iron is primary to restoring low iron levels in your blood system. Low iron supply in your blood system causes conditions such as anemia. More importantly, consumption of a recommended amount of iron will boost your energy, enhance brain function and ensure a healthy production of healthy red blood cells.

• Zinc- a low supply of zinc mineral is commonly experienced in older people and any other person subjected to prolonged stress. And so, the immune system of these people is usually weak and vulnerable to any disease attack. 
Zinc supplements secure any chances of disease attack by supporting blood sugar management and converting other nutrients such as protein and carbohydrates into energy. 

• Folate-, also known as folic acid, plays a key role in breaking down homocysteine and amino acid, which can cause cardiovascular disease. Folate also helps in the formation of DNA and RNA in the fetus. If you’re facing difficulties with growing nails, fighting dispersion and cure for inflammation, you should consider folate supplements. 

• Iodine
Iodine is an essential mineral. It plays a significant role in the proper function of your body even though the body can’t produce its iodine. You can either get your iodine from food or as a supplement. A low supply of iodine in your body can result in a deficiency known as hypothyroidism- failure of the thyroid to function properly. The ripple effects are fatigue, joint pains and fertility problems.