Many people today take over-the-counter food and vitamin supplements without the recommendations of their doctors. More than half of adults in Australia take one or more supplements regularly and spend billions of dollars on these products every year.
While it is essential that your physician knows what you’re taking, there are numerous supplements out there, and it’s likely your physician will not know what recommendations to give you about a great deal of them.
There are several factors, but two of the most significant are comprised of the following:
The majority of supplements are not carefully evaluated as a preventive or curative means for specific conditions for which they are being marketed.
Multifood supplements in Australia are not regulated in the same way prescription drugs are. For one thing, the ingredients on the label may not correctly reflect what’s really in the supplement. As a result, the question of whether it is safe or effective is impossible to address.
Does the supplement label matter?
Indeed it does; at the very least, you’d want to make sure that whatever is on the label is what you are buying. There have been many cases in the past the specific labels may incorrectly state the dose of the supplement. Hence you might be taking them in inadequate or excessive amounts.
Also, consider that the list of the appropriate drug active ingredients may fail to mention possible contraindications and worsen any underlying medical condition that people have. For example, taking a BCAA supplement in the UK is not safe for people with Type 2 diabetes as the drug is known to increase insulin resistance.
While these problems have been understood about for many years, there is little oversight to verify the purity of the ingredients or the precision of the label.
What’ a supplement user to do?
One alternative to consider is to stop taking the supplement. If you do not have a condition requiring treatment with a dietary supplement and if your medical professional does not advise it, it may be best to reassess your usage of them. Additionally, some companies accredit supplements and can provide a procedure of confidence in their ingredients. This includes the NSF International Dietary Supplement Certification.
However, if your medical professional has advised supplement use, check with him or her before making any alterations. This is to make sure that the changes you make, do not lead to anything harmful.
The problem of adulterated dietary supplements is not likely to disappear anytime soon. However, we can expect that the relevant authorities will take a more active stance in combatting the problem and help in safeguarding consumers from supplements that may contain hidden ingredients.
As you may have already realised, people need to become mindful of the fact that if you can’t be sure what is in your multifood supplement, you might be risking your health even as you’re trying to improve it. The safest thing might be to stick with the attempted and real (and tested). Ask your physician and pharmacist if you have concerns but as always, take everything they say with a grain of salt.