Scientific research into the medicinal value of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, hormones, herbs, phytochemicals and other natural supplementation have led researchers to appreciate the health benefits of these compounds.
Americans do not consume adequate amounts of many nutrients. The American diet is deficient in nutrients and fiber and high in cholesterol, fat and preservatives.
Although inadequate intake of nutrients may not trigger disease directly, it can leave the body vulnerable to chronic conditions and disease.
There are a number of essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly and it is possible to take these in the form of nutritional supplements.
The majority of people do not have a balanced diet and they may be lacking in certain vitamins which means that they require supplemental nutrition to ensure that they do not have a deficiency of an essential nutrient.
A health professional or dietary technician is the best person to give advice on dietary supplementation an individual should take. It is advisable to seek professional advice before taking any nutritional supplements. This is because there are some vitamins that can be toxic if too much is consumed and supplementation may not be appropriate if there is enough of the vitamin already in the food a person eats.
Some groups of people may require more types of vitamin supplementation than others. Vegetarians are often deficient in certain vitamins that are only found in animal products for example, and supplemental vitamins are the ideal solution to this problem.
Vegetarians do need to be aware that some dietary supplement manufacturing processes involve animal products and it is important for them to read the labels. A large number of synthetic supplemental vitamins are available which will enable a vegetarian to take them without contradicting their dietary beliefs or needs.
Children will often need dietary supplementation, especially when they are extremely young. This is because a lot of children do not eat a sufficient variety of foods in their early years and nutritional supplements can help compensate for this natural deficiency.
Breast feeding has long been recommended as a source of all the essential nutrients but women who choose not to or are unable to bottle feed may be concerned as to whether their baby needs nutritional supplements. The large majority of baby milk formulas contain additional vitamins to prevent the need for dietary supplementation. It is important to discuss any concerns over the need for a baby or child to take nutritional supplements with a health professional to ensure that the correct solution is found.
Elderly people or those suffering from certain diseases or illnesses are another group of people that may need to take a nutritional supplement. The body may often need supplementation to compensate for a person not being able to consume the recommended daily allowance of certain vitamins through their normal diet.
Herbal supplementation provides nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes and other nutritional elements that can be deficient in a person’s diet. But it is up to the individual to learn about the safety and effectiveness of herbal treatments before using them.