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What are Supplements?

Supplements, also known as Dietary Supplements should not to be confused with other food or drug products.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) together with similar national authorities throughout the world have introduced legal definitions and regulations for the production and marketing of Supplements that must be observed.

In the US the Dietary Supplement Health And Education Act of 1994 gives the following definition:-

The term Dietary Supplement means a product (other than tobacco) intended to supplement the diet that bears or contains one or more of the following dietary ingredients:

(A)A vitamin. (B) A mineral. (C)An herb or other botanical. (D)An amino acid. (E)A dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the dietary intake. (F)A concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any ingredient described in clause (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E).

Supplements are intended to be taken by mouth in the form of a pill, capsule, tablet or liquid.

The product should be clearly labeled on the front panel as being a dietary product.

Unlike the labels of drug manufacturers that may claim their product will diagnose, cure, alleviate, mitigate, treat or prevent a disease, the labels of dietary supplements may only feature that the product has health benefits, nutrient content claims or structure/function claims.

This legislation has been introduced in the US to ensure that manufacturers and distributors do not mislead the public with false or misleading information.

It is a sensible precaution to check that the labels of any supplement packaging broadly comply with the FDA requirements irrespective of the country of origin or intended purchase.

Supplements. Who should take them and why. In the United States studies have shown that roughly half the adult population take a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement. There has also been some debate over whether this is a safe and effective or a harmful practice with inconclusive results.

Many medical practitioners take the view that a daily regime of pharmaceutical grade multivitamins can at worst do no harm and can be a benefit in supplementing the vitamins we should be absorbing from a healthy diet.

So just how healthy is our diet?

It does not matter how much so called healthy eating we do and by that we mean natural fresh fruit, fish, vegetables and meat and the avoidance of all processed or preserved food the inescapable fact is that the vitamin and mineral levels in all foods, unless produced by strictly organic farming, are diminishing year by year.

Many studies have shown that the average American is not getting enough nutrients and as a result there is an ever increasing number suffering from chronic diseases, and that includes a growing number of younger people suffering from ailments such as high blood pressure and diabetes previously considered as adult diseases.

So many in the US are grossly overweight due to the over consumption of food that it is hard to appreciate that they are not absorbing adequate quantities of vitamins and other essential nutrients.

The problem has arisen due to the fact that intensive farming methods, the application of chemical fertilizers, the spraying of pesticides, and the use of preservatives to extend the storage and shelf life of fruit and vegetables have all contributed to the loss of essential nutrients in those foods that we take for granted are good for our health and well being.

For example researchers have found Hamburgers that contain traces of up to one hundred pesticides and Broccoli that contains only one sixth of the amount of calcium compared to fifty years ago.

Dealing with all these toxins and deficiencies adds a further load to the bodies already diminished reserves of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.

As it has been shown that taking a daily pharmaceutical grade multivitamin and mineral supplement is most unlikely to any harm, it seems obvious that this is becoming increasingly vital to the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and the avoidance of debilitating chronic diseases.

We strongly believe and advocate that everybody should consider taking a regular dietary supplement and wherever possible eat only organically farmed produce.

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About The Author: Jacqueline Lloyd is the author of this article which appears in her definitive website Hot Exercise

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