Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbals and botanicals, enzymes, amino acids, probiotics and organ tissues (glandulars). They come in tablets, capsules, powders, drinks, gummies and liquids. They are generally prescribed based on symptoms, health conditions, or the result of lab testing. Often they are used when we do not get enough of a supplement through our diet, or more often dietary sources are insufficient in achieving clinical results.
Vitamins – are organic compounds that we all need for normal growth and metabolism. They start with letters such as Vitamin A, (B, C, D, E, K etc.)
Minerals – are inorganic elements needed for normal health. Examples include calcium, magnesium and selenium. Our body cannot make them so we need to obtain them through diet.
Botanicals – are ingredients from plants and include roots, stems, bark, leaves, flowers, and seeds.
Amino Acids – are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 in the human body. Eight are essential to get from our diet because they cannot be made by our body’s cells.
Enzymes – are catalysts, they act like a key in a lock to induce chemical reactions in the body like digestion and metabolism.
Organ Tissues (glandulars) – they are animal products that support energy creation, metabolism and are governed by the endocrine system.
Are they Effective?
There are numerous clinical trials for the effects of supplements, some have excellent data to support their use, others have only small trials, or simply personal experiences to substantiate their claims. The FDA does not determine if they are effective before they are marketed. Johanna has seen very good clinical results with appropriate use of supplements.
Are they Safe?
When used appropriately they most often do not cause any side effects. Gastrointestinal side effects (upset stomach, loose stools) are the most common if there are any. More caution is required when using supplements along with medications, so disclosing all medical treatments to all medical providers is important. During pregnancy, supplementation should also be minimal and greater caution taken in using them.
The quality of supplements varies considerably. Some products have more fillers and non-essential ingredients than others, and purity, strength and composition of products can affect clinical outcomes.
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