16+ Pros and Cons of Dietary Supplements (Explained)

Health supplements or dietary supplements are usually manufactured products that are meant to supplement the natural diet and can be found in the form of capsules, pills, powders, or liquid. These are supposed to provide the body with nutrients and help the body absorb important vitamins and minerals, which it does not get from normal food. Over the year, the use of health supplements have become very common and people use it as a part of their diet for various reasons.  

There are various kinds of dietary supplements; some aid in weight loss, some help in building muscle mass, others provide the body with calcium, biotin, and other nutrients. In the last few years, there has been a lot of controversy regarding the use of health supplements. While celebrities swear by the benefits of health supplements, several medical associations over the world have raised concerns over these products and some studies also believe that they are detrimental to one’s health.

Benefits of Health Supplements    Drawbacks of Health Supplements
Helps in getting vitamins and minerals     Overusing them has severe health hazards
    Improves muscle mass              They can be mixed with drugs
Can treat health conditions     They can cause indigestion
  A good option for vegetarians  They are expensive
Can help you lose weight  Might get stored in fat tissues  
Can Improve Immunity            Not as efficient as whole foods
They are very convenient

Advantages of Health Supplements

  • Helps in getting vitamins and minerals  

Health supplements usually have various nutrients like Vitamin B12, biotin, etc which are beneficial for one’s health. These nutrients are also very difficult for the body to absorb through the food that we eat daily. Thus, health supplements help you to have a balanced diet which should be your ideal nutritional goal.

  • Improves muscle mass  

Health supplements can be of various types. They can be protein supplements, which help in building muscle mass and strength. Protein supplements are the most common type of health supplements, and they too can be further subdivided into various categories, like whey protein, pea protein, etc. 

These are used widely by people in the fitness industry, sports, and celebrities.  Protein supplements are usually in powder form and can be consumed in the form of shakes. They are available in many flavors and numerous well-known brands manufacture them. 

  • Can treat health conditions

Since health supplements typically have a high concentration of nutrients they aid in recovering from certain illnesses and are useful in preventing some diseases. Vitamin supplements are the most helpful in this regard as they help fill up the body’s void in certain vitamins and minerals. Many health supplements specifically target hair fall reduction, strengthen teeth and nails.  They are usually rich in calcium and biotin.

  • A good option for vegetarians

These health supplements are especially beneficial for those who are vegetarians and do not consume any form of animal or fish protein.

Some health supplements are rich in Omega-3 and this is the only source of Omega-3, apart from Flax seeds, for those who do not consume fish. Also, protein supplements help vegetarians get their daily source of protein to build muscles as they do not consume eggs or other sources of lean protein like chicken breasts or grilled fish.

  • Can help you lose weight

Since these health supplements tend to be rich in nutrients and does not contain much carbohydrates or fats, they aid in weight loss. This happens because the use of dietary supplements keeps a check on the number of carbohydrates you are in taking, thus helps you lower your calorie intake. Also, there are special kinds of health supplements that have no added sugar. 

  • Can Improve Immunity

Health supplements rich in vitamin C, Vitamin A are very helpful in improving one’s immunity. This is because of the properties of the vitamins which are the ingredients in the supplement.

  • They are very convenient

Health supplements are available in the form of pills and capsules also. This is exactly what makes them both convenient as well as practical. They are easily available and can be consumed anywhere, anytime. Suppose you are working in your office and had a busy day which made you forget to have your lunch, you can just pop a pill or mix a scoop of supplement powder with a glass of milk or warm water from the pantry and drink it.

Disadvantages of Health Supplements

  • Overusing them has severe health hazards

One of the biggest risks of using health supplements is that people might overdo them. Overdoing dietary supplements have several health hazards starting from diarrhea, to some studies say, even cancer.  They can also damage the liver.

  • They  can be mixed with drugs

Sometimes, low-quality dietary supplements are mixed with various drugs which can be lethal for the body, in the long run. To avoid using such supplements, you should always make sure to use a board-certified, health supplement from a moderately renowned brand.

  • They can cause indigestion

Some supplements are rich in iron and magnesium which might irritate the digestive system.

  • They are expensive

Good quality health supplements usually tend to be priced on the higher side and consuming them daily is likely to burn a hole in your pocket.

  • Might get stored in fat tissues       

Certain health supplements contain some fat-soluble vitamins. In that case, they are not properly absorbed into the bloodstream and get stored in fat tissues in certain parts of the body.     

  • Not as efficient as whole foods

Health supplements, at the end of the day, just do not match up to the benefits of organic food.

Dietary or health supplements may be the trend nowadays but they are not as good as actual food. However, they do have certain advantages over natural food substances. They do not need any preparation time is super easy to use in today’s fast-paced world.

One should always be careful to use a high-quality health supplement and should never overdo it. Consulting with a nutritionist about the kind of dietary supplement one should use, is also advisable.

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