How to get the most out of your health supplement
Get the best bang for your buck.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, known as NHANES, asked more than 10,000 Americans, ages 18 and older, about their diet and supplements and found that almost two-thirds of Americans reported supplement use, with a quarter reporting using supplements for weight loss, and nearly one-third reporting supplement use to help with depression and anxiety.
According to the NHANes survey, nearly a quarter of adults reported supplementing with vitamins and minerals.
It was not clear how many people use supplements for health or weight management, but more than half of respondents said they use them for weight management.
Some supplement manufacturers, such as Bioderma, have touted that their supplements are designed to help reduce inflammation, improve immune function and increase energy.
There is a growing body of evidence that these benefits are real, but many nutritionists have cautioned against prescribing supplements for specific health or medical conditions.
“People who are taking a supplement may have a certain inflammatory response to certain foods or medications, which can lead to an increase in inflammatory markers and immune activation,” Dr. David Sinclair, director of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Obesity at the University of Michigan, told ABC News.
But he added that supplement use may not be a bad thing for a person who is healthy and not at risk for disease.
Dr. Sinclair is a member of the advisory board for the National Health Institute, a federal agency that funds research on nutrition and health.
He said that, when considering supplements, it’s important to consider how the supplement works for a particular person.
“[They should] not be prescribing something that is intended to help a particular individual with their illness or health,” Dr, Sinclair said.
“If you’re taking a lot of supplements, you’re not likely to be at a higher risk for inflammatory markers.
So, it may not have a great benefit for you.”
If you are not at a high risk for an inflammatory response, but do have inflammatory markers, Dr. Sinclair said that your doctor could recommend a supplement.
He recommends using the product in conjunction with a well-designed diet and exercise program.
When it comes to supplements, Dr Sinclair said it is important to choose products that are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics and other essential nutrients.
He said people who take these supplements are likely to benefit from them in a variety of ways, but it’s also important to recognize the health benefits of a balanced diet.
“When it’s not healthy, you should be aware of it,” Dr Sinclair explained.
“But it doesn’t have to be harmful.”
The National Institutes of Health has an overview of nutrition and supplements available at the FDA website.