Supplements – are they really needed?

Different brands, attractive packaging, available everywhere..supplements have become so accessible and so much a part of our life that sometimes we just consume it without discussing with our health care practitioners.

Indians are increasingly growing reliant on supplements. Indian supplements market is seeing a steady increase.

Supplements are needed if one does not get enough nutrition through their diet. Conditions could be pregnant women, patients, people with celiac diseases. Sometimes people who travel very frequently does not have access to quality food. People who follow a diet preference and cut out certain food groups may become deficient in certain nutrients for example Vegans and people following keto diet.

Make food and healthy lifestyle your plan A

So how will you know if you need a certain supplement. Usually your blood biochemistry will reveal deficiencies and you will only need to supplement with those. The common deficiencies we come across are:

Vit D –  People in areas that do not get enough sunlight throughout the year. Most people who work indoors will show VitD deficiency
Vit B12 – Mostly Vegans and Vegetarians show Vit B12 deficiencies
Calcium – Frequently seen in Vegan, menopausal women and men above 70
Iron – Frequently seen in menstruating women and girls.

There are few risks with supplements:
1. Supplements are not as tightly regulated in India as drugs. Hence caution needs to be taken if you are consuming supplements.
2. Some supplements may interfere or compliment the action of other supplements and medicines. Ex Vit K supplements cannot be had by people on blood thinners, Thyroid medicines with calcium can cut it’s effect. Calcium without Vit D and Magnesium will not be as efficient.
3. If you take fortified food, the additional consumption of supplement can lead to overdose. Overdose can lead to range of complications, diarrhea, tiredness, kidney stone etc.

4 important steps you should take to keep your supplement consumption safe:

1. Always work with your doctor and nutritionist to identify the right supplements for you. You should disclose all supplements.
2. Check for FSSAI approved label.
3. Check the DV% value on the nutrition label. Add up the values from all your supplements and packaged food items to ensure you are within limits.
4.You should also know the RDA values of different nutrients and they are available at NIN(National Institute of Nutrition) website.

If you want to enhance your health with food and lifestyle changes then whatsapp us  at 74062-09945 or mail us or leave us a message here.

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