Current Science Information about Dietary Supplements
Instructor: Dr. Strunk
March 2, 2011
Dietary supplements, also known as nutritional supplements are taken by mouth, and intended to supplement you diet. You can get them in many forms. For instance, you can take a tablet, capsule, gel tabs, liquids, powders, and teas. Dietary supplements are products that include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, and plants. People take supplements for many different reasons. An estimated 29,000 supplements are currently on market today. Over half of all adult Americans have a positive view of supplements and take them on a daily basis. One-third of the population in the United States takes a vitamin-mineral supplement daily. Arguments for supplements would be, improve body’s defenses, for supplements include, correct overt deficiencies, support increased nutrient needs, improve nutrition status, and reduce disease risks. Arguments against supplements would be; risk of toxicity, life threatening misinformation, unknown needs, and a false sense of security. I would like to think that most supplement users take supplements to compensate for a lack of a certain vitamin or mineral in their diet. An example would be; I take a calcium supplement every day, because I am lactose intolerant. My husband takes a high dosage of vitamin A everyday to preserve his remaining vision, because he has a degenerative eye disease.
The history behind supplements dates back to the beginning of civilized man. People have found written records of herbal medicines that were inscribed on six thousand year old clay tablets written by the Sumerians. Six thousand years ago they used medicinal plants, such as opium, thyme, licorice, and the mustard plant. The United States history is much shorter. Interestingly, dietary supplement use in the United States is at an all time high. This could be due to all the new weight loss supplements, or...