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Supplements are designed to fill potential gaps in the diet and provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants or other beneficial substances that may be lacking. They can be especially beneficial for people with certain dietary restrictions, inadequate nutrient intake, or certain health conditions.

However, it is important to note that supplements should not replace but rather complement a balanced diet. For this reason, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional to determine individual needs and ensure the safe and appropriate use of supplements.

In order to shed light on the role, importance and effects of nutritional supplements, nutritionist and technologist Shweta Pathanya explained this, according to what was published by the specialized medical website “onlymyhealth”.

Who needs supplements?

Supplements may be beneficial for individuals who have specific nutritional needs or deficiencies, certain health conditions, or dietary restrictions that make it difficult to obtain all necessary nutrients from food alone.

Among the groups that may benefit from supplementation are pregnant women, the elderly, vegetarians or individuals with chronic diseases, and those with limited exposure to the sun (for vitamin D). However, it is important to consult with an expert before starting any supplement regimen. Maintaining a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle should always be the basis for meeting nutritional requirements.

What are the benefits of supplementation?

Supplements offer many potential benefits, including filling nutritional gaps, supporting overall health, and addressing specific health concerns.

They can provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that may be lacking in the diet.

Supplements may support immune function, promote bone and joint health, enhance cognitive function, aid in heart health, and support energy levels.

It can also be beneficial for individuals with certain deficiencies, dietary restrictions, or specific health conditions.

However, it is important to note that the effectiveness and benefits of nutritional supplements can vary based on individual needs and proper use.

Do I need nutritional supplements even if I eat a healthy diet?

If you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that provides you with all the necessary nutrients, then supplementation may not be necessary.

Pathania shows that a comprehensive diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats can meet your nutritional needs. “There may be certain circumstances in which supplementation can be beneficial, for example if you have certain dietary restrictions, deficiencies or health conditions,” she added. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your individual needs and provide guidance on whether supplementation is necessary for you. They can help you make informed decisions about your nutrition and your overall well-being.

Do supplements have side effects?

Supplements, like medications or substances, have the potential for side effects.

Although most supplements are generally safe when used properly, it is important to realize that they can interact with medications or produce adverse reactions in some individuals.

The nature of side effects may vary depending on the specific supplement and the individual’s personal response.

Gastrointestinal problems, allergic reactions, headaches, and drug interactions are among the common reported side effects.

To minimize the potential for side effects, it is essential to adhere to recommended dosage instructions, seek advice from a physician before starting any new supplement, and stay informed of potential interactions or contraindications.