Medication is a term used to describe medications prescribed by physicians. These medications are designed to treat certain health conditions, or alleviate them. FDA-approved medication has passed FDA’s rigorous review and testing process. Supplements consist of vitamins, minerals, and any other substances that are taken to enhance nutrition. Supplements can be taken in many different forms, including tablets, powders liquids, bars, and gummies. People take supplements in the hopes of maintaining their overall health, treating specific health conditions, and preventing illness or injury.
Contrary to medications, which can be used for serious diseases and conditions like cancer, most people consume dietary supplements purely for health reasons. The use of dietary supplement is on the rise globally. According to the Global Health and Nutrition Survey (GHNS), more than half all respondents reported taking a dietary supplements regularly to improve or prevent disease.
The most common dietary supplements include multivitamins, calcium, fish oil, magnesium, vitamin D and folic acid. Consumers have access to many more dietary supplement options than these popular ones. The list of supplements is long and includes herbal products, probiotics, amino acids, and many others. There are also a number of nutraceutical foods, which are nutrient-rich whole foods as opposed to the isolated nutrients that are found in pharmaceutical supplement.
Nutraceuticals come from whole foods, such as green tea, garlic and soy proteins. They are usually sold as functional beverages or foods with health benefits like lowering cholesterol and improving circulation.
There are some problems with the way supplements and drugs are classified and marketed. Some vitamins, like vitamin b6, can cause toxicity when taken in high doses. Medications such as thyroid and insulin are given to correct an inadequate supply of normal body chemicals, vitamins, hormones or other enzymes. But some drugs can have serious side-effects.
Generally speaking, it is best to get your nutrients from a healthy diet, and dietary supplements should only be taken if a deficiency is identified. In addition, it is important to research supplements and manufacturers to determine their integrity. To understand the claims made about a particular product, look for noncommercial sources.
Before taking any supplement, it is important to consult a qualified healthcare professional,to konw about Supplements vs Medications. In deployed environments for example, some supplements may be counterproductive to the mission readiness of soldiers because they can lead muscle breakdown, to depression and to agitation. Some dietary pills can interact negatively both with prescription and non-prescription medications. It’s important to speak with a medical professional before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you. The more informed you are about your health and dietary supplement options, the better choices you can make for yourself and your family.