How Do I Pick Supplements?
Even if you eat healthfully, you could probably benefit from taking vitamin supplements. Certain vitamins help protect the body against the damage caused by environmental factors, such as sun, pollution, and pesticides and other toxins, that can lead to illness, disease, and aging.
Many herbal remedies have been used traditionally to help prevent or treat diseases, and science has supported a wide range of uses.
Where do I begin?
Before making any change in your health protocol, it is a good idea to check in with your healthcare practitioner, especially if you are pregnant or have a health condition. Next, it is important to have clear health goals when looking for supplements. For example:
A healthy 20-year-old might simply be looking for “dietary insurance.”
Someone in his or her 30s might want to manage stress.
Postmenopausal women might be concerned about osteoporosis.
Men over 50 might be thinking about prostate health.
Each of these people will benefit from a slightly different supplement protocol. Talk with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner, letting your health goals and history guide your research and help you determine the herbs and supplements that will be safest and most effective for you.
Are vitamins and minerals always safe?
Although most supplements have good safety records, each person’s body will react differently depending on his or her unique physiology as well as on any other medications, herbs, and supplements also being taken. In addition, certain combinations of medications, herbs, and nutrients can potentially cause depletions or interactions. For that reason it is important to check with your health practitioner, or use a science-based resource that tracks depletion and interaction information for drugs, nutritional supplements, herbs, and foods.
Do men and women need specific vitamins or herbs?
Men and women may have different health considerations from each other, and from others of their gender depending on age, health history, and genetics. They may also respond differently to certain supplements, possibly due to different nutritional needs. In addition to meeting nutrition goals, men may have specific concerns such as prostate and impotence, while women may have specific concerns such as osteoporosis, PMS, iron levels, and pregnancy.
Are vitamins and herbs safe for children?
Although many experts believe that children can safely benefit from vitamins and other supplements, it is important to consult your family practitioner before giving children vitamins, herbs, or other supplements.
October 14, 2010
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