What are Supplements? Your Complete Guide
, by Hi-Health, 6 min reading time
, by Hi-Health, 6 min reading time
Have questions about supplements? You’re not alone. We understand, the selection of vitamins and nutrients in the marketplace can be overwhelming. And yet, supplements play a key role in maintaining and boosting your daily health and preventing disease. Here are answers to some basic supplement questions to help you set your vitamin and nutrient routine for 2016. The sales associates at your Hi-Health store can help you, too.
Click one of the questions below to read the answer.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 created the definition of supplements, cementing this unique class of foods. Dietary supplements must be ingested through the mouth—whether as a pill, tablet, capsule, softgel, chewy gummy, chewable tablet, melt-away, powder, drink, or bar. And the kinds of ingredients included can be wide ranging, indeed. Here’s a look at the main types of ingredients in supplement products, all of which are regulated by the law:
|Vitamin A (retinol)*||2,500–5,000 IU|
|Vitamin A (from beta-carotene)||5,000–25,000 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (thiamin)||10–100 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (ribofavin)||10–50 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (niacin)||10–100 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)||25–100 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||25–100 mg|
|Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin)||400 mcg|
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)||250–1,000 mg|
|Vitamin D**||1,000–2,000 IU|
|Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols)||100–200 IU|
|Vitamin K1 or K2||60–300 mcg|
|Folic acid||400 mcg|
*Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should not take more than 2,500 IU of retinol daily because of the possible risk of birth defects.
**Elderly people in nursing homes living in northern latitudes should supplement at the high range.
***Men, as well as post-menopausal women, rarely need supplemental iron.
****The FDA restricts the amount of potassium in supplements to 99 mg.
Nutraceuticals (a food or supplement that contains health-giving additives) difer signifcantly in the amount of time the active ingredient(s) remains in your body. Water-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin C, generally will be metabolized and leave the body the same day of use or even within a few hours after consumption. Fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin A (palmitate form), can be stored in the liver for weeks and distributed to body tissues as needed.
That depends, says Michael Holick, PhD, MD, author of The Vitamin D Solution (Penguin, 2010), For example, vitamin D is stored in fat cells so you don’t have to take it every day. Maintenance supplements, however, such as multivitamins, calcium, or ginseng, should be taken daily—as should any supplement taken for long-term therapeutic effects. “There are some supplements that may be used acutely for specific effects, and those don’t have to be taken on a daily basis,” says Gene Bruno, provost at Huntington College of Health Sciences. “For example, valerian taken for better sleep or L-theanine taken for stress relief, generally do not need to be taken daily.”
We asked Michael Murray, ND, author of TheEncyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Atria, 2012) for recommended intake levels of important nutrients. Murray advises reading labels to fnd a multivitamin formula that contains vitamins and minerals in the optimum intake ranges listed to the left. “Be aware that you will not find a formula that provides all of these nutrients at these levels in one pill— it would simply be too big. You would need to take at least three to six tablets per day to meet all these levels,” Murray says. “While many one-a-day supplements provide good levels of vitamins, they tend to be insufcient in minerals. Your body needs the minerals just as much as it needs the vitamins—the two work hand-in-hand.”
BY: LIVING HEALTHY EVERYDAY MAGAZINE
Article from January/February 2016 Living Healthy Everyday Magazine. Download your copy here.