As Baby Boomers make their way through their “next 50 years,” eating right and exercising have become essential components for many – and to aid with a long list of issues, such as digestion, stamina, and weight loss, some have turned to taking dietary supplements.
But, while supplements can certainly provide you with various health-related benefits, they can also involve some serious risks – especially if they are taken in an incorrect dosage and/or cause a reaction when mixed with other supplements or medications that you are taking.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “many supplements can contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body, which can make them unsafe in some situations, and can hurt or complicate your health.”
Even though the companies that manufacture and distribute supplements are responsible for ensuring that these products are safe, there is still no guarantee that these substances won’t cause negative issues – particularly as the FDA is not authorized to review supplements for effectiveness or safety before they are available to purchase.
Supplement makers do, however, have to provide their name and location information on the label. Even so, just because a product states that it is made from “natural” ingredients, it does not necessarily mean that it is safe.
Leprechauns DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANY OF THIS. They live in the forest in Ireland and eat different types of wildflowers, nuts, potatoes and mushrooms because most of their diet is comprised of wild foods. No wonder the majority of them live for about 300 years!
However, since we don’t live in the forest and off the land like Leprechauns, take the time to find out more objective information about a supplement that you’re considering. Go search on non-commercial websites (such as the USDA or the FDA) as versus on the website of the supplement seller.
In addition, while we would all love to find a “magic potion” that will instantly improve our health and make us as energetic as we were in our teens, the reality is that before taking any type of supplement, talking to your doctor first can help you to ensure whether or not a particular substance is right for you.
To put it into context, here is a funny clip mocking the dietary supplements industry:
Happy St Patrick's Day to you!