Millions of people turn to supplements to help with a variety of things like weight loss, hair growth, acne, strong nails, overall health and more. But whether we should take them is another story. Although there are some benefits, there is also a big risk, according to medical and health experts. Kellie K. MiddletonMD/MPH, an Atlanta-based company orthopedic surgeon says: “As a physician, I have extensive experience in the field of health, fitness and wellness. Before taking any supplement, it is essential to research the supplement and discuss its use with your doctor.Supplements can be beneficial when used appropriately.However, some supplements may not be worth the risk or worth taking due to potential side effects or lack of evidence for their effectiveness.
Supplements are a massive business and IBIS World reports, “The market size, measured by revenue, of the vitamin and supplement manufacturing industry is $39.8 billion in 2023.” Although the market is booming, not everyone is impressed with supplements and warns of dangerous risks. “Unfortunately, my industry is full of trainers who sell supplements that our customers don’t need,” Grace Albin, reveals an ACE-certified fitness instructor. “Not only are these products a waste of money, but some could do more harm than good. Various supplement manufacturers contact me every week, offering me high commissions for engaging in high-selling tactics. But I will never recommend my subscribers to buy these products.”
Albin points out, “You should only take supplements if you are deficient in that specific vitamin or mineral. And if you cannot solve this deficiency by eating foods rich in missing nutrients. Everyone should have an annual physical exam where their doctor examines the blood. work and informs them of too high or too low levels. A few years ago mine showed I was low in D3 and iron so those are the only two I take. Eat this, not that! Health spoke with experts who share what to know about supplements before taking them and which ones to avoid.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell, board-certified family physician with Holistic Wellness Strategies says, “Before diving into the world of vitamins and supplements, one should understand one’s specific needs and research the different options available. Before taking any vitamin, people should be aware of potential side effects and consult their doctor or pharmacist If they are in doubt Also, consider the timing – for example, some vitamins may need to be taken with food to maximize absorption.
Additionally, although many vitamins are available over-the-counter, there are instances where a prescription is needed for specific vitamins for optimal benefit. It is important to consider careful dosages – taking too much of a particular vitamin could have adverse effects on the body rather than the intended benefits. Understanding your health goals and individual situation is key before collecting a vitamin stash.”
Dr Mitchell says: “With so many vitamins and supplements available today, it can be difficult to decide which are worth spending and which are not. But due to many factors, such as a improper production or storage, some provide vitamins may not be beneficial to your body. Many vitamins, especially those from an unknown source sold at convenience stores or gas stations, lack the potency to good long-term health benefits, making it a waste of money.
Plus, some vitamins are naturally present in almost any balanced diet, making them unnecessary purchases for those who already eat lots of fresh produce and protein. Therefore, it is essential that anyone buying vitamins or supplements knows how they can save money with their product and how you can avoid this by looking for trusted brands. »
Dr. Middleton says: “One supplement that may not be worth taking is Garcinia cambogia extract. This supplement has been touted as a weight loss aid and appetite suppressant, but it There is little evidence to support these claims.Garcinia cambogia extract may have effects such as nausea, digestive upset and even liver damage in some cases.It may not be worth the money or the risk potential to take this supplement.
The National Center for Complementarity and Integration in Health says: “Several studies have investigated the effect of garcinia cambogia on weight loss in people. Less research has been done on other uses of garcinia cambogia. Several dozen cases of liver toxicity have been reported in people who took products labeled as containing garcinia cambogia A 2020 review of 11 short-term studies in people found no significant effects of garcinia cambogia products on weight loss. associated with the use of garcinia cambogia products have been reported. This problem appears to be rare, but some cases have been serious. Most reported cases have involved products labeled as containing a combination of ingredients, but some have involved products labeled as containing only garcinia cambogia.
Dr. Middleton explains, “Another supplement that may not be worth taking is kava. This supplement has traditionally been used to reduce anxiety and stress and improve sleep quality. Studies have shown that long-term use of this herb can cause liver damage. It can interact with many common medications and increase their side effects. Given the potential for serious adverse reactions, taking this supplement may not be worth it.”
UCLA Health says: “Kava has been banned in the UK and Europe due to liver toxicity. Over 100 cases of liver toxicity linked to the use of kava have been identified, some resulting in liver transplantation and others death. There are many causes of liver damage. On the one hand, kava depletes glutathione, a main antioxidant, in the liver. It also inhibits enzymes involved in the metabolism of many drugs. Many cases of liver toxicity have been observed in people who have had liver disease in the past or who have used alcohol in addition to kava.”
Dr. Middleton says, “The next supplement that may not be worth taking is Yohimbe. This supplement has been touted as a sexual enhancer. Studies have shown that it can cause unwanted side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and even seizures in some cases. The potential risks may outweigh the benefits of taking this supplement, and it may not be worth it. »
The National Center for Complementarity and Integration in Health says: “There is very little research in people on the effects of yohimbe as a dietary supplement. But studies have documented the risks of taking it. Yohimbe has been associated with heart attacks and seizures. Due to mislabeling and potential for serious side effects, yohimbe supplements have been restricted or banned in many countries. Yohimbe has caused stomach problems, tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat), anxiety and high blood pressure, according to a study comparing calls about yohimbe and other substances to the California Poison Control System between 2000 and 2006. People calling about yohimbe were generally more likely to need care medical than other callers. Most yohimbe products don’t say how much yohimbine they contain. The amount can vary significantly from product to product, according to a 2015 review of 49m arks of supplements labeled as containing yohimbe or yohimbine for sale in the United States. Some of the yohimbine was either synthetic or derived from highly processed plant extracts. Most supplements did not provide information on known side effects.”
Albin shares, “Multivitamins contain dozens of vitamins and minerals, although hardly anyone needs a fraction of that number. In the case of vitamins, they are usually water soluble. This means that your body will simply urinate the ones you don’t need. , and you wasted money. For minerals, many of them cause constipation in addition to financial waste.
Medicine Johns Hopkins According to researchers studying the benefits of multivitamins, “Multivitamins do not reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline (such as memory loss and slowed thinking), or premature death. They also noted that in previous studies, vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements appear to be harmful, especially at high doses.” Larry Appel, MD., director of the Johns Hopkins Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, says in a John Hopkins article on multivitamins: “Pills are not a shortcut to better health and the prevention of chronic disease. Other recommendations Nutritional supplements have much stronger evidence of benefits—eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and sugar you eat.”