Many people believe that taking supplements is important to their health and can only do them good. While having an appropriate intake of vitamins and minerals is essential to a healthy body and mind, supplements are not always the answer. Here are a few questions you should ask before buying your next supplement.

Do you really need it?

By definition, supplement means added. Supplements are intended for people who do not get the vitamins or minerals that they need through their regular diet. If you’re eating a healthy diet rich in whole grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables, you may not need to take any supplements. If your body is already getting the vitamins that it needs through your food, the additional vitamins that you receive through your supplements won’t make you any healthier as your body will simply pass them in your urine as unneeded waste.

What if I am at risk for a deficiency?

There are certain groups of people who are more prone to have vitamin deficiencies than others. For example, women of childbearing age can benefit from taking calcium supplements and iron supplements. Seniors can usually benefit from taking a B12 supplement. Likewise, older people, dark skinned people, and people who do not receive much exposure to the sun can usually benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement.

How do I know which supplements are best for me?

Talking to your doctor is the best way to get information about an appropriate diet and any supplements that might be beneficial. You can also speak to a registered dietitian or to a pharmacist. Pharmacists are particularly helpful in letting you know how a supplement might interact with any drugs you are taking. While negative side effects from the supplement are unlikely, they can occur, especially if you are inadvertently overdosing on a particular vitamin or mineral.

But the local news said this supplement is a miracle drug? warns that just because advertising or a new study claims that a certain supplement is the next quick fix or miracle drug, you shouldn’t go right out and buy that supplement. First speak to your doctor and perform your own research to make sure that the claims being made by the supplement marketers are true and that the supplement will actually be safe and useful for your purposes.

Should you have additional questions related to vitamins or supplements, the Office of Dietary Supplements provides numerous vitamin-related fact sheets which tell you more about the purpose of vitamins, recommended daily intake, and effects of supplements on your health.

What this post tries to say is that you should take care of your health by knowing a few things like the importance of BLS training, taking supplements, drinking water and many more. Be in control of your health.