The Food and Drug Administration defines Dietary Supplements to include vitamins, minerals, and other less familiar substances — such as herbals, botanicals, amino acids, and enzymes. Dietary supplements are also marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, and gelcaps.

While some dietary supplements are fairly well understood, others need further study.

As the role of dietary supplements increase within our lives it is important to know how you can choose the right dietary supplement for you!

Always read the labels

They may be a bore and it may take a while but take time out to read the labels. There are minerals, vitamins, amino acids and other naturally occurring ingredients, and not all of them may be suitable for you. It is best to research these ingredients before you choose a supplement. Remember the FDA states that while most supplements are understood, there are some that need further study.

Ask a professional

It is very important to keep your health physician privy to all your medical supplements. This point is particularly important if you are taking supplements for the first time or are taking them with prescribed medication. For example, you want to bulk up or lose weight for your exercise regime but are also taking prescription medication before you start taking dietary supplements it is very important that you discuss them with your doctor.

Do your research

Medical research is ever changing. Ask physicians, health providers, licensed medical practitioners which supplements are best suitable for you. Read up on websites such as the FDA and National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine to stay abreast on new findings and developments. In this day and age when research is everything we are learning new things about age old dietary supplements every day, and not all of the news may be good.

Check the dosage

While there are natural ingredients in supplements there is a strong need for moderation while you are using supplements. Usually all supplements come with a suggested dosage and it is really important to stick to it.

Report all emergencies

This is the most important point of them all. A lot of people may experience unwanted reactions when they use some form of dietary supplements. Some may be minor, some may be life threatening. It is important to seek medical attention in either case and besides checking in with your doctor or any emergency medical center, you should always report any adverse reactions to the FDA’s MedWatch Program at 1-800-FDA-1088 & 1-800-FDA-0178 (fax). Make sure you mention the name of the product and include a report by your doctor or hospital in the report also. If you have not visited a doctor or a medical center it is still important to report any emergencies to the FDA

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