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Nutritional Supplements

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Nutritional supplements: safe and effective, or dangerous and useless? That's a question many people ponder as they look into the supplements available online and in health stores and drug stores. The simple answer is that some supplements fall into the first category, and others fall into the second. It's up to you, as the consumer, to be in control and learn about the benefits and the risks.

It's important to note that nutritional supplements must be used in conjunction with good eating habits or healthy diet programs. They should never be used to replace healthy eating. It's also important that you come up with your own, individualized supplement plan. What works for one person might not work for another, because different people have different health requirements.

Nutritional supplements serve several purposes, including:

  • Filling the gaps in your diet, in areas where you're nutritionally deficient
  • Increasing your energy levels
  • Helping to remove toxins from your body
  • Decreasing risk of certain diseases
  • Improving your overall health
  • Boosting your immune system
  • Why should you avoid certain supplements?

    Similar to medications, there are both good and bad supplements on the market. Among the bad ones, some are unsafe for consumption, while others simply don't work at all. You always want to know exactly what you're putting into your body, so do your research:

    • Read up on the artificial preservatives, dyes and allergens in your nutritional supplements.
    • Ask questions to the person selling them to you.
    • Seek out advice from your medical practitioner.
    • See how (or even if) these supplements have been tested.

    Always examine all labeling and instructions carefully, because it's possible to overdose on nutritional supplements. In addition, make sure you're aware of all possible side effects. Unless you're an expert in supplements, you should seek professional guidance. Discuss your supplements with your doctor, particularly if you're on any medications. If you take several supplements, make sure that they should in fact be taken together.

    Be wary of discount nutritional supplements. They may be cheaper because the ingredients are cheaper and possibly less effective or unsafe – but this doesn't mean that all discount supplements are bad for you. It's important for you to be as educated about the supplement as possible, before you put it into your body.

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