Food supplements make sense? – Helpful tips for the right intake!

According to the latest surveys, one in three in Germany takes dietary supplements or vitamins every day and one in four takes more than one a day. The preparations are said to strengthen our immune system, improve our performance, help us lose weight or remedy a vitamin deficiency. Some groups of people such as pregnant women, menopausal women, vegans and vegetarians or people with food allergies generally have a higher need for certain nutrients and vitamins. But in order for these supplements to really have a positive effect on health, there are a few important aspects to consider when taking them. You can only find out whether dietary supplements are useful and many helpful tips in our article!

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In the form of capsules, powder, tablets or liquid – food supplements with a wide variety of ingredients are now available in all possible forms and the range is growing rapidly from year to year. Whether in the drugstore, in the supermarket, in the pharmacy or even online – most of these products are available without a prescription and are available almost everywhere. However, some dietary supplements can cause unpleasant side effects and it is therefore recommended to seek advice from a doctor first.

Are dietary supplements useful? – Pay particular attention to the correct dosage!

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Supplementing certain vitamins and nutrients only makes sense if you suffer from a certain illness or if you have a confirmed deficiency such as vitamin B12 deficiency. And just like with everything else, the same applies to dietary supplements that the amount makes the poison and for this reason you should strictly adhere to the doses recommended by the manufacturer and not exceed them. While you can't get too much of a vitamin or nutrient from your diet, the risk of overdose with supplements is pretty high. Too high a dose can lead to many undesirable side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain. In extreme cases, it could even cause serious health problems such as liver damage.

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  • Iron – Caution should be exercised especially when taking iron preparations and should only be done under medical supervision. Iron is an essential mineral for the human body, the main function of which is to transport oxygen to the tissues. It plays an important role in maintaining muscle and brain function and in our immune system. An iron overdose significantly increases the risk of heart and cancer diseases. If you experience symptoms such as abdominal cramps, stinging in the chest or joint pain, you should definitely stop taking it and have a doctor examine you.
  • Vitamins A, D and E are “fat-soluble” vitamins. This means that the excess is stored in the fat and liver. Just like with iron, an overdose of these vitamins can be life-threatening.

Only take the preparations according to a specific instruction

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Even the best dietary supplement is useless if you take it incorrectly. For this reason, it is very important to carefully read the label of any medication you still need to take. While some products are taken with a meal for optimal effect, others must be taken on an empty and empty stomach. In addition, certain vitamins and minerals can affect the absorption or effectiveness of some medications. Fat-soluble vitamins, for example, should always be taken with a high-fat meal, because this is the only way to support absorption.

Always read the labels carefully

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When choosing a supplement and therefore the nutritional supplements make sense, it is particularly important to get accurate information about the ingredients it contains.

  • Some manufacturers offer unrealistic advantages or promise results that are too quick.
  • Even products that are labeled “organic” or “natural” do not mean that they are suitable for them or that they have no side effects. It is therefore important to read the label on the packaging carefully or to consult your family doctor.
  • Products that promise not to cause side effects – as I said, most supplements are highly concentrated and the risk of overdose is unfortunately too great.

It must be taken at the optimal time

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For the nutritional supplements to make sense, the time of taking them also plays a very important role. It mainly depends on the purpose for which you are taking them.

  • Some of them provide you with energy and can lead to sleep disorders at night, while others are more relaxing and promote healthy sleep.
  • If the label says “no food” it means that the supplements should be taken either 30 minutes before or 2 hours after the meal. For example, iron supplements must always be taken on an empty stomach, while zinc is better absorbed by the body in the evening before going to bed.

Look out for side effects with other medications

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A number of supplements can interact with some medications in a harmful way. For example, St. John's wort can affect the effects of birth control pills or antidepressants. A product that contains vitamins K and E or Gingko Biloba must not be taken with blood thinners. So before you consider taking supplements, you should first consult your family doctor.

Store the supplements properly

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To prevent accidents, keep food and medication out of the reach of a child. In addition, the products must always be kept in the product packaging. Look at the packaging, bb you should store it in the refrigerator or rather in a dark cabinet at room temperature.

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