Just because something is labeled as a “dietary supplement” doesn’t mean it actually does anything. In the United States, the term “dietary supplement” is defined by Congress in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Dietary supplements include everything from vitamins, minerals, or herbs to amino acids. As long as someone claims that the substance can supplement a diet, in nearly any way, like boosting metabolism or increasing intake of a certain vitamin, they can get the thing labeled.
Half of Americans take a dietary supplement daily. Many of the supplements Americans take do no good at all. So, how do you tell the placebos from the real deal? Our friends at Gizmodo were kind enough to list some effective supplements.
The following dietary supplements can actually help make you healthier.Remember, though, these will only work if used as mere additions to an already healthy, balanced diet.
This vitamin, which the body can produce when exposed to sunlight, helps promote bone growth. People with vitamin D deficiencies can strengthen their bone mass with a supplement.
Calcium also promotes bone growth, and helps reduce premature births. Pregnant people and teenagers are often calcium deficient and can benefit from supplements.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron deficiency is the top nutritional disorder in the world. Iron supplements can help reduce anemia in people who menstruate, or have lost blood.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that the body creates to regulate its daily cycle. If you’re deficient in melatonin, are transitioning to a strange schedule, or suffering from jet lag, melatonin can help get you back on track.
Make sure to always consult with a doctor before adding supplements to your daily practice.