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Using the Power of Supplements Wisely

December 6th, 2023

Nutritional supplements can go a long way toward contributing to better health.

However…where you buy your supplements matters. What supplements you take and how you take them also matters.

Read on to learn more about how to take supplements safely.

Supplements Are Unregulated

Unlike prescription medications, supplements are not required to undergo rigorous testing before being sold to consumers. This regulatory gap means that quality varies widely from one supplement brand to the next.

Of particular concern in this regard is the potential for contamination. Independent research has shown that some supplements within the marketplace (including some that are sold by large retailers) contain impurities, toxins, pharmaceutical compounds, and other ingredients that are not listed on the products’ labels.

To ensure safety, only purchase your supplements from reputable manufacturers who follow good manufacturing practices (GMP). Look for third-party certifications like NSF or USP, which indicate the product has undergone independent testing for quality, potency, and purity.

Overconsumption and Toxicity

There are specific vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body to function optimally. But more is not necessarily better.

In fact, some supplements can become toxic if overconsumed. In particular, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K can accumulate within your body if dosing is too high. Iron is a good example of a mineral that be toxic if overconsumed.

To be safe, ask a healthcare provider for recommendations. Taking supplements like vitamin D and iron should be accompanied by blood work to ensure dosing is appropriate.

Interactions with Medications

While you may not think about supplements interacting with prescription medications, they can. For example, some supplements interfere with how some prescription medications are absorbed. In other instances, side effects can occur when specific supplements are taken in combination with specific prescription medications.

Tell your healthcare providers about any and all supplements you take (including herbal supplements), so adjustments can be made if necessary and guidance can be provided on potential interactions.

Misleading Health Claims

Some supplement manufacturers make bold claims related to the health benefits provided by their product(s). Often these bold claims are related to weight loss, sexual performance, or cognition.

Unlike prescription medications, supplement manufacturers do not have to back these claims up with scientific evidence. As a consequence, consumers should have some healthy skepticism about claims that sound unrealistic. Be wary of products that promise miraculous results without credible supporting research. Generally, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If in doubt, talk to a healthcare provider.

Take Your Supplements Correctly

As noted above, how you take your supplements matters. Some supplements are better taken at a specific time of day (e.g., in the morning or before bed). Some are better taken with food, whereas others are better taken on an empty stomach.

Make sure you take your supplements as instructed, and if in doubt, ask a healthcare provider.

Need Advice on Including Supplements in Your Healthy Aging Regimen?

At Renew Youth, we offer physician-grade supplements to our clients who wish to include supplements in their healthy aging regimen. Call Renew Youth at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to set up your free 30-minute consultation.


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