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How to Safely Use Supplements

How to Safely Use Supplements

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How to Safely Use SupplementsSeveral different vitamins, minerals and dietary aides are safe over a variety of usage regimens.  Water soluble vitamins, amino acids and most soluble fibers are examples of supplements that can be taken liberally.  Yet, certain nutritional supplements demand a small amount of knowledge prior to consumption.  Understanding the difference between these supplements can prevent several patterns of misuse.

Absorption Differences

Many vitamins fall under the category of water soluble, which means they can dissolve easily in water.  Zinc, calcium, and magnesium are examples of water soluble vitamins.  Water soluble vitamins and minerals do not accumulate in bodily tissues the way other kinds of vitamins do.

Fat soluble vitamins preferentially bind to triglyceride molecules and binding points.  Vitamins A, E, and K are fat soluble and require proper planning before continual use.  Toxic buildups of fat soluble vitamins are highly possible if care is not taken.

Most Common Toxicities

The difference between fat and water soluble vitamins lies at the heart of most supplement-induced maladies.  Many reported toxicities are later traced back to a multivitamin or an unusual diet that is rich in a particular fat soluble vitamin.  Those who consume fatty organ meats are more likely to incur vitamin A toxicity, for example.

Common Supplements

If taken in the right amounts, supplements can be very beneficial to your body, such as melatonin, iron supplements, and multivitamins.

Melatonin can assist with sleeping issues, such as insomnia.

Iron supplements can increase your workout power while exercising, they can help you sleep better overnight, and they can assist your body in fighting off injections.

Vitamin A supplements can help improve your immune system, vision, and red blood cell productions.

Vitamin B supplements can help regulate your blood pressure and insure your insulin system is working correctly.

Vitamin C helps support and repair your bodily tissues,

All supplements, however, should be used with caution and in proper dosages.  Check with a nutritionist to get your recommended doses.

Less Common Supplements

Modern society embraces certain vitamins and minerals.  Other dietary aides are a bit more unknown, which often leads to misuse and health concerns.

Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids are becoming an increasingly prevalent supplement choice.  Many food manufacturers are also boosting the healthy properties of their foods by including omega-3 fatty acids in their products.  Omega-3 consumption presents a certain caveat, however.  High blood serum levels of omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for a blood thinner effect.  Those who take blood thinners will often be warned upon prescription.  Few understand that high intake of fish oil and omega-3 supplements will invariably lead to thinner blood.  Those who are at higher risk of life threatening injury, such as police officers, fire fighters or soldiers, should reduce their fish oil consumption to one teaspoon per day.

Fiber products require special differentiation in order to prevent supplement misuse.  Fiber supplements are divided into two different types.  Soluble fiber dissolves readily in water to create a gelatin-like sludge.  Insoluble fiber is more of “bulking” agent and does not dissolve in water.  Soluble fiber supplements include inulin and flax seed meal, while insoluble fiber is typically found as psyllium husk.

The most common misuse of fiber supplements is caused by a lack of water during consumption.  At least one full glass of water should be consumed with each serving of fiber in order to prevent choking.

Many individuals also fail to differentiate between the two fiber sources.  This mistake often leads to the problems with bowel movements.  Soluble fiber supplements are safe for regular consumption and are an integral part of a healthy intestinal system.  Insoluble fiber is meant to induce a bowel movement and is not meant for regular use.

Educate yourself on the different supplements before you use them.  It can prevent major complications to your health in the long run.

Emily Ferris is a freelance writer who writes about nutrition issues. 

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