Because there are sometimes reports about adverse health effects from Vitamin E supplements, scientists debated whether the supplements might actually be harmful or even raise your risk of death. In addition, concerns about safety have been raised regarding both regular and higher-dose supplements. There are no reports of adverse effects from using supplements in healthy individuals. Dietary supplement use has grown, despite a lack of evidence demonstrating a clear health benefit to most, and concerns about increased health risks for some.
While vitamins and nutritional or dietary supplements may benefit your health, they may also pose health risks. Many supplements are definitely helpful for your health, the evidence is very varied, and it is important to understand what may be good for your health and what might be bad.
Some supplements may contain ingredients that are not listed on their labels, and those ingredients can be unsafe. Some supplements can interfere with other treatments and medications. Some supplements can interact with one another and prescription medications in ways that may have an adverse effect on your health. Patients may not disclose to healthcare providers that they are using supplements and herbal medicines, and therefore, the risks for interactions with prescribed medications or treatments can exist.
Supplements should not be used as substitutes for standard treatment for diabetes. Alongside these treatments, diabetics have tried a number of herbs and supplements to help them manage diabetes. These alternative treatments are supposed to help manage blood sugar levels, decrease resistance to insulin, and prevent complications related to diabetes.
More and more people are turning to alternative medicines and supplements. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics are more likely to use supplements than non-diabetics. In fact, some doctors are worried that high antioxidant dosages in supplements may interfere with chemotherapy medications.
There is also no evidence that taking large doses of vitamin C after you are diagnosed with cancer helps with treatment. Taking vitamin C supplements regularly (not just when you have the first cold) results only in a slight decrease in cold duration (about 1 day). Vitamin C does indeed appear to lower your risk of getting a cold in these studies.
The GISSI prevention trial found that a seven-year, low-dose vitamin E supplement (as part of a daily anti-oxidant pill) reduced cancer risk of death from any cause in men, but did not demonstrate these beneficial effects in women; the supplement did not provide any protection from heart disease, either in men or women. Meanwhile, the larger, longer-term Physicians Health Study II Trial found that vitamin E supplements did not increase or decrease the risk of prostate or any other type of cancer. Taken together, observational studies do not show vitamin E, either in foods or supplements, offers a great deal of protection from cancer overall, nor from any particular type of cancer. A more recent analysis found that women taking a vitamin E supplement also had lower risks of developing severe blood clots in their legs and lungs, and women who were at higher risk for these blood clots received the greatest benefits.
Eating foods high in vitamin C is important for overall health, particularly if you are at risk of high blood pressure. If your vitamin C levels are low and you are having difficulty getting enough from the foods you are eating, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce your vitamin C levels If you regularly take these medications to treat your OA, you may need to take a vitamin C supplement.
In some cases, excess vitamin and mineral intake may be harmful or produce undesirable side effects; thus, maximal levels are needed to assure safe supplementation with foods. In the European Union, food supplements are regulated like foods, with the legislative emphasis being placed on vitamins and minerals used as ingredients of food supplements.
Many supplements have at least one food ingredient, such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, or enzymes. Dietary supplements may include generic health claims, nutrient-content claims, or structural-function claims. Certain scientific verifications are required to be submitted only to the Food and Drug Administration for health claims that demonstrate a direct relationship between use of the supplement and reduced risk of disease.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) definition of dietary supplement is included in the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). Dietary supplements are included under the health functional foods (HFF) category in South Korea, regulated by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) according to the HFF Act for the purpose of ensuring safety. The regulatory aspects of the dietary supplement industry provide context to several areas of public health concern, including consumer behaviors regarding usage, safety, and effectiveness, as well as studies focused on health effects of regular supplementation.
The most health-promoting public health option, as opposed to using the majority of the market-available dietary supplements, except as noted above, is eating a nutritious diet of foods that satisfy all macro- and micronutrient requirements. With over 90,000 different supplements on the market, it is confusing to figure out which ones are safe and which ones are not. Despite the amount of research done on supplements (the National Institutes of Health has spent over $2.4 billion studying vitamins and minerals since 1999), scientific evidence is not entirely clear. There is only limited evidence at this time that certain supplements do provide the benefits mentioned above for humans. Although the ADA does not typically recommend the use of micronutrient supplements for individuals with diabetes, they recommend that individuals at increased risk of micronutrient deficiencies (e.g., individuals following very-low-calorie diets, older adults, and strict vegetarians) might benefit from supplementing with multivitamins. When dietary supplements were first made available in the 1940s, people flocked to their local drug stores to stock up on these supposed magic pills to enhance their general health and wellbeing – and never stopped.