Important Things to Know Before You Begin Taking Dietary Supplements

There is no generation as obsessed with dietary supplements as this generation. Health professionals believe that this is because most people think supplements are the key to good health. Since many are unwilling to put in the effort to truly live healthily, they tend to place their hopes on dietary supplements to make up for the good they are “unable” to do for themselves.

It’s become quite common to see people abusing their bodies and then hearing them say that what they’re doing is completely fine since they’re taking vitamins and other supplements anyway. It’s also nothing extraordinary for people to suddenly make a decision to start taking dietary supplements based on marketing pitches. You’ll find people in big supermarkets reading labels on vitamin bottles, shrugging, and then putting the vitamin bottles in their cart. Basically, the typical mind-set that most people have about dietary supplements is “Why not?”

However, dietary supplements shouldn’t be viewed this way; it’s imperative to know what your body actually needs first. You can’t forget the fact that too much of a good thing is wrong because this definitely applies to certain nutrients. If you take dietary supplements that your body doesn’t require, what you’re really doing is messing up your body’s chemical balance.

Therefore, the most important thing to know before you begin taking dietary supplements is your actual health condition. This will determine if you truly require supplements. Have yourself checked by your doctor to find out what your deficiencies are and which nutrients you need to maintain healthy levels of in order to support your lifestyle and enhance your well-being.

After getting that information from your doctor, the next things you need to know are the dietary supplements that will help with your deficiencies so that your body can become balanced.

There are so many options in the market and the selection can be overwhelming; as such, research is a must to determine which products in the health supplement store are “good” and which ones are just going to become expensive pee.

When choosing dietary supplements to buy, these are the things you have to take note of:

Ingredient list

The label for vitamin and mineral products must provide the quantity per nutrient per serving plus the %DV (percentage daily value), and the percentage of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance).

The listings for other dietary supplements, such as botanicals (herbs) and phytochemicals, must also display the amount per serving plus the part of the plant from which the ingredient is derived (root, leaves, seed, and others). A manufacturer’s own proprietary blend of two or more botanicals must include the weight of the total blend.

Expiration date

Time can reduce or increase the potency of certain ingredients so go for the products that have a long shelf life.


Make sure that the supplements have the right packaging to ensure their freshness for a long time. For example, vitamin C should have dark packaging to prevent oxidation that is caused by exposure to light and heat. However, if the vitamin is in gummy form (like those vitamin C gummies for kids that adults also like), it really just needs thick packaging to protect it from temperature changes.

Storage instructions

It’s always smarter to opt for health supplements that are easier to store especially if you have a very hectic life and you’re constantly on the go. You want to be certain that your supplements’ quality is not compromised even if you store them in less than ideal locations.


You don’t need extra strength or max claims when it comes to dietary supplements. You just need to make sure that the product gives you no more than the RDA for any ingredient.

Food color and flavors

You may want to avoid artificial food coloring and flavoring, especially if you’re hypersensitive to synthetic materials. Pay attention to the following:

FD&C Blue No. 1 (brilliant blue FCF)
FD&C Blue No. 2 (indigotine)
FD&C Green No. 3 (fast green FCF)
FD&C Red No. 40 (allura red AC)
FD&C Red No. 3 (erythrosine)
FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine)
FD&C Yellow No. 6 (sunset yellow)

If you see these items listed, as well as artificial food coloring, then it’s best to avoid them because these can cause hyperactivity and behavioral issues (especially among children). There may also be other adverse effects from regularly ingesting these synthetic ingredients.

As much as possible, stick to all-natural dietary supplements because they come from food-based sources; therefore, your body has a better idea of what to do with them and you can benefit more from them. They’re easier for the body to absorb and have fewer to zero side effects.

But all in all, if you’re considering taking dietary supplements, get clearance from your doctor first. The last thing you really want is to do something for the improvement of your health and then later on discover that instead of boosting your well-being, you had actually compromised it. If you really want to become healthier, then eat a healthy diet and make necessary lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep, exercising, and kicking vices such as smoking and drinking often.

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