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Dietary Supplements: What Are They and What Are They Used For?

by Editorial Team July 31st, 2018 | Common Conditions
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You hear a good deal about “supplements” these days and the first thing that pops into many minds is athletes. It’s for the people who want to make themselves faster and stronger, right? Not necessarily. The FDA defines them as “products taken by mouth that contain a ‘dietary ingredient,’” which includes, among others, vitamins, minerals and herbs. That covers a lot of territory. Keep in mind, the following are not endorsements of any product nor guarantees of any relief. Always ask your doctor and/or pharmacist before using any supplement or over-the-counter product.

Physical ailments

As we age, we all become afflicted with aches, pains and other issues with our bodies. There are products on the market that can help with arthritis-, digestive- and even tinnitus relief. Have you noticed your joints are getting harder to move and more painful than when you were a teenager? You may find glucosamine or vitamin D are helpful. Maybe you’re noticing you’re a bit irregular when using the bathroom. A daily probiotic or occasional dose of peppermint oil may fit the bill for you. And what about the horribly distracting ringing and buzzing in your ear? Some people have found that manganese and ginkgo have been useful.

Energy boosters

It happens to all of us. Sometime during the workday, you want to revert to kindergarten and put your head down for a nap. Instead, if you can, get up and take a walk. Some studies have shown that walking for a few minutes can give you an energy boost without putting anything into your body. However, if this isn’t an option there are other methods. You can try the age-old method of getting some caffeine on your inside by having some coffee or a cola. If you want to avoid that, then something like vitamin B-12 or beetroot powder may be what you want.

Muscle Building

Of course, strength and fitness supplements can also be helpful to some. Bodybuilders, runners and athletes of all sorts want to increase their strength. There are a plethora of products available at your local health food store or online. Two things you’ll find in most of them are proteins and amino acids. Whey protein is one common ingredient. However, as it’s a dairy byproduct it may not be for everyone. Other helpful supplements are Omega-3 fatty acids. These can come from eating certain fish like salmon or from a bottle of pills with them as the main ingredient.

As you can see, while supplements can help you get into the athletic trim you might be aiming for, they certainly aren’t simply one-trick ponies. Whether you’re looking for relief from a physical infirmity or looking to get through the day without a bump on your head from smacking it on your desk, there are products to help you. Stop into your local drug or health food store or look online and you won’t have any trouble finding something to help you out.

Brought to you by our friend, Anne.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.