The 8 Don’t(s) Of Dietary Supplements Part 1


    What’s a Dietary supplement?

    According to Wikipedia, ‘A dietary supplement is either intended to give nutrients to increase quantity of their consumption, or to give non-nutrient chemicals which are claimed to have a biologically beneficial effect. They include minerals, fibres, fatty acids or amino acids among other substances.

    It would not speak well of me if I do not say a good day to you my reader and a HAPPY HEALTHY NEW YEAR.

    The main highlight of the one single ‘to do’ that overcomes all the don’ts I would be listing is ‘ENSURE IT IS APPROVED OR PRESCRIBED BY A PHYSICIAN BEFORE IT IS USED’.

    These don’t(s) include;

    1. Supplements shouldn’t be used to replace entirely natural food and fruits.

    This point reminds me of a friend of mine who said he would rather take supplements than eat any food. This did mean that he did not have to digest nature’s food gift to man at all. And right there, I did explain that a supplement is a ‘SUPPLEMENT’ and that means it should be used to add to the nutrients derived from food and not used to replace it.

    2. Some types of supplements do not suit an ailment.

    These supplements would rather prevent the healing or management of such ailments as case may be. Example is sodium-based supplement with a high sodium content should be ‘out of bounds’ for hypertensive patients.

    3. Use only based on referral from a health professional.

    Sitting down in my little corner at work, on a bright sunny afternoon with birds chirping, leaves dancing on their branches producing their own special sound on every move they make; a patient walked in. Please, hope you did not think I had gone to fairy tale land? Well, I am back. Looking at her before any word communicated between us, I had given my judgment that she was the curious type (please do not mind me for already judging a book by its cover). And lo and behold, I was of course right. She said a relative of hers just imported a supplement and that she really needed to know the use before commencing on its usage. I was quite impressed as I explained to her joyfully its use considering the way supplements are commonly abused based on merely referral not from a professional but fellow patients (friends, relatives, neighbors).

    It’s time we stop making statements (and in effect stop doing) as the following cases;

    CASE 1

    ‘On a visit to my sister’s, I made a complaint to her and she told me she had suffered same plight but was healed of it. On asking what she did, she entered into the room and gave me some supplement pills from her drug box encouraging me that since it worked for her it would do same for me’.

    Let me tell you something you might not know, sometimes what sauce is for the goose ‘might not be’ sauce for the gander.

    CASE 2

    ‘I asked my neighbor what drug she used for that problem she had and she told me. It did worked perfectly for her that I believe with no reasonable doubt that it would the same to my condition’.

    Always remember that when it comes to drugs, the saying ‘Different strokes for different folks’ still stands for as our faces are different so is our body make-up’.

    4. Sometimes supplements are not really needed

    Many a times, the diet is already composed of those nutrients in adequate measure and as such do not need their supplementation.

    I would give a brief example of continuous vitamin-B supplementation in people who are neither neuropathic or are deficient of it. Some say they use it to continuously have a good appetite, others believe it works to help blood build-up alongside ferrous supplements. For those whose body do not demand for it is adequate in the food stores have their stories likened to a water being poured in an already filled cup, the excess would of course become a wastage. The body gets rid of excess of this vitamin in the body so someone who is already stuffed up with the vitamin from his/her normal diet just takes its supplement for nothing since it would be excreted through the urine (because it is a water-soluble vitamin) when in excess thus giving the kidney more burden.


    I know a number of us feel that supplements are just ‘supplements’; yet still please do make sure you consult a physician or any health professional before you introduce it to your body system.

    Well, I would want you to digest this before I load you next week with the concluding part of the article where we would be discussing the remaining 4 don’ts.

    Wishing you a great and promising new year. Take care and see you on this page soon.



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