what are supplements

Ever thought of taking supplements to achieve that body you dream of?

Think no more. There are a variety of options that you can choose from. Come and join me as we explore deeper into the world of supplements.

What are Supplements?

A dietary supplement is any manufactured product with the primary intention to supplement a diet. This provides additional nutrients to the body in concentrated amounts. Sources may come from either natural food sources or synthetic sources or a combination of the two. You can take this either as a pill or capsule. There are also others that are in a tablet or liquid form.

Common dietary supplement ingredients are vitamins, minerals (nutritionally essential) and amino acids. Essential fatty acids and non-nutrient substance (plants/animals) are also popular. The most known nutrient compounds are vitamins and minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and fiber. These ingredients take in several forms. This includes concentrate, metabolite, a constituent or an extract. It can also be a combination of any of the above-mentioned products.

Each supplement should contain a label of all of the ingredients. Additionally, you can only consume these supplements by mouth. You should also not consider the supplement as a meal replacement. Neither as a preservative or pharmaceutical in nature. You are not able to consider it a supplement anymore if you consume a product other than through the mouth.

Popularity and Demand for Supplements

Popularity and Demand for Supplements

There are more than 50,000 dietary supplements in the market. This data is in the United States alone. The largest consumers of dietary supplements are the adult population. Multivitamins are the most common among these supplements.

You can find the demand for supplements all over the world. Because of this demand, there are federal regulations that were established. This is to prevent the manufacturers from abusing this demand.

  • They should not claim that their products can prevent disease. Much more treat a disease.
  • They should only use a specific “structure/function”. In addition, there should be scientific evidence that supports its potential health effect.
  • There should be a disclaimer that says “has not evaluated the claim “ displayed in the label.
  • Also, there should be a label that says “ the dietary supplement product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease”,  from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA enforced these regulations. FDA may take appropriate actions if the label of a dietary supplement is not truthful, harmful, and is misleading.

Types of Supplements

There are tons of available supplements that you can choose from in the market. Below are the most common and effective for bodybuilders.

Vitamins

This is an organic chemical compound or a set. These are vital nutrient in certain organisms.

Different organisms vary in the type of nutrient needed. Us humans, typically need thirteen vitamins in our diet. These are Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Biotin, Folate, and Vitamin B12.

Evidence does not generally show when people who have an adequate nutritional diet consume vitamins. However, if these are taken below the recommended amount, it may result in signs and symptoms of vitamin deficiency.

Minerals

Minerals are the chemical elements which are crucial in our lives. Some of the essential nutrient minerals for humans include potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and more.

You can only market essential minerals as dietary supplements. They may be individual or in combination with vitamins and another mineral.

Essential fatty acids

These are strings of carbon atoms with various lengths. They can be:

  • saturated (links are all single) C-C
  • monounsaturated (one double bond) C=C
  • polyunsaturated (two or more double bonds) C=C=C.

There are only 2 essential fatty acids. These are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA). The first one is an omega -3 fatty acid. The latter is an omega -6 fatty acids. You can extract ALAS from seed and nut oils. In addition, dietary supplement sources are from fish oil, krill oil, and marine algae extracts.

It does not appear though to have a relevant effect on the risk of death, cancer, or heart disease. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2017, issued an advisory that it cannot recommend the use of omega -3 fish oil supplements for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. However, AHA reaffirmed its benefit for those with a history of coronary heart disease.

Natural products

These products come from intact sources or extracts of plants, animals, algae, and fungi. You don’t need prescriptions just to purchase them. Although, there are still concerns though when it comes to their efficacy, safety, and its consistency in quality.

Probiotics

Oral consumption of some specific live bacteria is beneficial in the general gastrointestinal health, specifically, the large intestines. Probiotics supplementation came from this theory.

Proteins and amino acids

Bodybuilders are pretty familiar with these supplements. Moreover, people recovering from illness consume these supplements as well. People who are hoping to fight the sarcopenia that old age brings also take these supplements.

Amino acids are the main components of protein. Nine of these are essential to the human body. Our body does not normally produce these essential amino acids. Food should be the primary source. A type of amino acid called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) does very well in the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis.

Whey protein has been the most popular. Furthermore, there are also various other types such as pea protein, casein protein, hemp, and rice protein.

According to research, a combined equivalent amount of exercise and a high protein diet contributes greatly in gaining muscle mass. Recommended protein intake vary based on one’s body mass as well as the lifestyle led.

You can incorporate protein supplements into meal replacements. Likewise as a medical food, but not as the sole source of protein. Labels should include claims such as “good source of protein”.

Bodybuilding Supplements

These are dietary supplements for bodybuilders, of course. Athletes, weightlifters and martial arts enthusiasts also benefit from these. The main purpose of these supplements is to increase muscle mass and body weight. They are also helpful in fat loss and improved performance.

Bodybuilding supplements are either sold as a single ingredient preparation. They can also be in the form of stacks. Consumption of this type of supplement also varies according to the type of exercise one is performing.

CONCLUSION

Various types of dietary supplements have long existed in the market. Before choosing which ones to take, you should take time to do your research. Also, you should check which will work for you and read reviews of actual users. You can maximize the effects of these supplements if you are taking the right ones. So be informed, be educated, and be supplemented.

REFERENCES

Dietary Supplements. (2019). Retrieved from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_supplement

Dietary Supplements. (2011). Retrieved fromhttps://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/DietarySupplements-HealthProfessional/