Dietary supplements are very popular all over the world. They can be bought everywhere: in pharmacies, supermarkets, on the Internet, with friends involved in network marketing. Often, additives are positioned as medicines to achieve certain medical goals. Usually, they are used to treat or prevent certain pathologies, although in reality dietary supplements, with the exception of multivitamin complexes, are not intended for this. They only supplement the diet of a person with substances that he or she could get from ordinary foods.
Dietary supplements – what is it? Dietary supplements are products that contain components of natural origin that have a positive effect on human health. They do not have clear indications, and therefore do not require an evidence base for market promotion. Unlike medications, the clinical effects of dietary supplements are presumed, not credible.
They usually contain:
- vitamins and minerals,
- extracts of plants,
- nutrients (amino acids, proteins, fatty acids, carbohydrates),
- substances of vegetable origin (organic acids, fiber, polysaccharides, glycosides, bioflavonoids),
- substances of animal origin (creatine, chondroitin sulfate, extract from deer antlers).
In addition, additives may contain substances of a different origin, including those obtained synthetically (provided that similar chemical compounds can be extracted from natural raw materials).
The most common are dietary supplements for weight loss, and this has objective reasons. There are plenty people who are overweight, weight loss is extremely difficult for them, and there are few effective drugs for treating obesity, and all of them have side effects. Dietary supplements feel very good in this niche, because for their sale, it is not necessary to prove clinical effectiveness, and sellers are entitled to unfounded advertising declarations of weight reduction under the influence of such drugs. Nevertheless, most popular weight loss supplements generally do not affect body weight.
Examples of remedies, the purchase of which will be a waste of money:
- green coffee,
- acai berries,
- bromelain (pineapple extract),
- senna (Alexandrian leaf),
- chromium picolinate,
Some of them are very expensive, although the substances contained in the composition can often be easily obtained from ordinary foods for much less money. There are also dietary supplements, which supposedly have some influence on body weight. You are to be guided by the choice of a means for losing weight:
- extract of guarana,
- extract of green tea,
- synephrine (bitter orange extract).
But even their effectiveness is not clinically proven, so dietary supplements should be used only as an auxiliary ones. They do not guarantee any advantages in losing weight.
Dietary supplements for weight gain are less popular, as people tend to lose weight more than grow fat. Nevertheless, they also happen, and they are useful for some categories of patients. Usually, dietary supplements for weight gain are sought after severe illnesses or surgeries. They are also accepted by people who have a lean type of constitution and consider this a disadvantage.
Of course, drugs like Phentermine or Meridia will be more effective, but they are actual medicines and have a completely different type of action.