Should You Be Taking Supplements?
There are some people who, due to their lifestyle, physiological conditions, and personal goals, can benefit from taking supplements of different kinds.
People who can benefit from taking supplements include:
- People who have heightened nutritional needs, like teenagers, pregnant women, and women who are breastfeeding
- People whose work or hobbies require them to have a higher intake of certain nutritional components (like weightlifters and athletes may need more protein3 or B vitamins4)
- As a preventative measure for people who want to take steps to lower their risk of certain diseases potentially
- People who have specific food likes and dislikes
- People with allergies or food intolerances
- Anyone worried about not meeting their nutritional needs due to eating habits or dietary restrictions
- People who want to improve their mental, emotional, or physiological health naturally with vitamins, minerals, botanicals and herbs, and other components
Many people who take supplements fall into the last category. They may be fine in their overall health, but think that there are certain aspects of the way they feel or their future health outlook can be improved potentially.
One of the ways to boost feelings of wellness is by taking supplements that contain research-backed herbal extracts or botanicals that have been shown to potentially boost your energy (like rhodiola5
), enhance your body’s ability to cope with stress (like Ashwagandha6
), and improve the appearance of your hair or skin (like rose extract7
A Note About Supplements
For most people, it is generally safe to take supplements in the recommended doses.
However, please keep in mind that before beginning any supplement regimen, you should consult with your physician. Even though supplements are mostly available over the counter, they can have a powerful effect on your health. In some cases, the effects can negatively interact with medicines you are taking or conditions you might have.
For this reason, it is important to talk with your doctor about any supplements you are thinking of taking.
It can be challenging to get all of the nutrients we should be eating in the recommended amounts every day. It required careful planning and time investment that most people are not able to invest. While learning to improve eating habits is essential, supplements can help you to fill gaps in your nutrition, or boost your intake of certain components that can help to improve your overall well-being and help you achieve personal wellness goals.
- Food guide snapshot. (2019, July 16). Retrieved from https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/food-guide-snapshot/
- (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Supplements.aspx
- Tarnopolsky, M. (2004). Protein requirements for endurance athletes. Nutrition,20(7-8), 662-668. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2004.04.008
- Woolf, K., & Manore, M. M. (2006). B-Vitamins and Exercise: Does Exercise Alter Requirements? International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism,16(5), 453-484. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.16.5.453
- Abidov, M., Crendal, F., Grachev, S., Seifulla, R., & Ziegenfuss, T. (2003). Effect of Extracts from Rhodiola Rosea and Rhodiola Crenulata (Crassulaceae) Roots on ATP Content in Mitochondria of Skeletal Muscles. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine,136(6), 585-587. doi:10.1023/b:bebm.0000020211.24779.15
- Singh, N., Bhalla, M., Jager, P. D., & Gilca, M. (2011). An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines,8(5S). doi:10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5ss.9
- Imokawa, G. (2009). Mechanism of UVB-Induced Wrinkling of the Skin: Paracrine Cytokine Linkage between Keratinocytes and Fibroblasts Leading to the Stimulation of Elastase. Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings,14(1), 36-43. doi:10.1038/jidsymp.2009.11