The dietary supplement controversy is one that has been raging for quite some time. For almost as
long as there have been supplements on the market, there have been people questioning their safety,
efficacy or potency. As with any medication, there are always areas for concern but the benefits of
dietary supplements should not be overlooked. The key is proceeding with caution.
The simple fact is that relying on a diet heavily laden with processed foods has left most of us lacking
in essential nutrients. Even when we take extra steps to make sure that we are getting a healthy,
balanced diet we can still fall short of getting all of the building blocks our bodies need. That’s why
a discussion of dietary supplement dangers and benefits is so important.
Most of us are in need of nutritional supplementation of some kind. That’s a simple biological fact.
Everyone’s individual needs may be different but almost all of us are missing something. This is
where dietary supplements come into play. Manufacturers responded in a big way and now there
is a wide range of supplements on the market. With them comes the dietary supplement controversy.
In looking at dietary supplement dangers and benefits, the benefits are easy to see. Getting the
proper amount of nutrients on a regular basis can improve overall health and help to target specific
areas like the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and the immune system. With the right fuel,
all of these systems can function properly and that leads to less illness and longer life.
Of course, dietary supplement controversy comes in when you consider the other side of the
equation. Concerns have been voiced over how supplements are regulated and whether or not
they are really safe to take. Certain specific supplements have been targeted as potential threats,
including ephedra, black cohosh and zinc, to name a few.
In listing dietary supplement dangers and benefits, these particular supplements are shown to
contribute to heart disease, in the case of ephedra; increase the risk of breast cancer in women for
black cohosh; and almost double the rate of prostate cancer in men with zinc. These are just a few
of the potential dangers that critics point to as a reason for avoiding dietary supplements altogether.
With a dietary supplement controversy raging, how can you be sure which supplements are safe and
which aren’t? As with any other medication, it’s a matter of using your common sense. You can
consult your doctor if you’re worried about taking a supplement and you should always read all of the
literature that comes with each specific product
before you make your choice.
Dietary supplements are not necessarily something to be feared. They can be an important addition
to your regular health maintenance routine. The key is to look before you leap and make sure that you
are choosing the right supplement for you. With the right supplement in your corner, you’ll feel