SUPPLEMENTS 101💊

Did you know that some supplements are better taken with meals while others should be taken on an empty stomach? And that some vitamins and minerals interact with each other and should be taken separately? Or how to find a reputable and safe supplement brand?

During the month of May, Valeo will answer all of those questions for you & provide you with everything you should know about taking supplements –  from which ones to take, to when and how to take them, pick them, and much more.

But before any of that, let’s cover the basics!

💊What is a dietary supplement and how different is it from a medication?

Supplements are products that can be purchased in the form of capsules, tablets, liquids, or powders and that may include one or a combination of vitamins, minerals, botanicals such as herbs, or other biological substances such as amino acids, enzymes, and other metabolites. While medications are substances that are intended to treat, cure or prevent disease, supplements may be used to supply the body with nutrients that may be missing or deficient from the diet, enhance mental, fitness or sexual performance, or support general health & wellbeing.

💊What is a dietary supplement and how different is it from a medication?

Supplements are products that can be purchased in the form of capsules, tablets, liquids, or powders and that may include one or a combination of vitamins, minerals, botanicals such as herbs, or other biological substances such as amino acids, enzymes, and other metabolites. While medications are substances that are intended to treat, cure or prevent disease, supplements may be used to supply the body with nutrients that may be missing or deficient from the diet, enhance mental, fitness or sexual performance, or support general health & well-being.

💊Who should take supplements and why?

Supplements may be taken to address a nutritional deficiency such as taking a supplement to correct a vitamin D or B12 deficiency, or to serve a specific health purpose such as helping your body regulate your blood sugar more effectively.

Supplementation can never replicate the benefits of having a healthy and balanced diet, however, if we take into account the combination of poor food choices that we often make, the over-processing of foods and poor farming practices, and high prevalence of diseases – all leading to compromised nutrient absorption and increased nutritional needs – it seems likely that we may all be in need of the extra health boost supplements provide.

If you belong to any of the below groups, you could also definitely benefit from taking nutritional supplements:

  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Age 50 or older
  • Have a poor appetite or have trouble getting nutritious foods
  • Follow a diet that excludes entire food groups
  • Have a medical condition that affects how your body digests nutrients, such as chronic diarrhea, food allergies, food intolerance, or a disease of the liver, gallbladder, intestines or pancreas
  • Have had surgery on your digestive tract that affects how your body digests nutrients

💊Are there any risks in taking supplements?

Though you may think that most supplements are “natural” and thus safe, many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations and hurt or complicate your health. For example, the following actions could lead to dangerous consequences.

  • Combining supplements
  • Using supplements with medicines (whether prescription or over-the-counter)
  • Substituting supplements for prescription medicines
  • Taking too much of some supplements

The best way to understand if taking a supplement is right for you is by speaking to a health professional and having your blood levels checked periodically.

Valeo provides you with various testing packages along with free online guidance sessions with our health coaches for you to kick-start your supplements journey the right way.