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Imagine coming home after a long day of work and starting to play slots online to relax. Just as you are about to make a win on the Legacy of Dead slot, you see an ad on TV: A food supplement claims that it can provide all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes your body needs - almost a “fountain of youth.” If you take this supplement, it is implied that you will be much healthier and full of energy. What do you do? Would you buy this product? Well, if we told you that there was a possibility of harming your health by using such a product, what would you think? Food supplements can be extremely harmful if not selected and used correctly. In this article, we explain what you should actually expect from them.
They're More Common Than You Think
According to a study published in 2016, more than half of Americans use at least one food supplement every day. The size of the market is close to $128 billion, and more than 30% of sales occur in the United States. In this country, it is possible to find food supplements even in grocery stores. They are not sold by prescription. Moreover, they are not regulated by the FDA either. You can produce a new food supplement and put it on the market without getting permission from anyone. You don't have to send your product to the FDA in advance for approval.
This means that there is a market that is uncontrollable but directly related to health. Food supplement brands are always in a race to be more “effective”, and therefore they can put highly exotic ingredients in their products and market them like a “miracle.” Some of these ingredients can have extremely serious allergic effects. For example, red ginseng has side effects such as nervousness, insomnia, changes in blood pressure, breast pain, vaginal bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea and mania. Impressive list, right? However, none of these are mentioned on the label. On the contrary, red ginseng is marketed as a kind of miracle herb, focusing only on its "benefits." However, red ginseng can cause heart attacks, especially in middle age and older.
They Don't Need to Be Exotic To Be Dangerous
Do not think that traditional food supplements without exotic ingredients like red ginseng are safe because they are not. It is true that our bodies need some vitamins and minerals, but all of them cause toxic effects when taken in high doses. For example:
- Taking too much vitamin D damages your kidneys and does not strengthen bones contrary to popular belief.
- St. John's wort is used as a natural sedative, but it has a lot of interaction. Using it with the wrong medication raises your serotonin levels to potentially fatal levels, especially blood-thinning drugs cause this. St. John's wort also weakens the effects of birth control pills.
- Taking too much calcium causes clogging of your arteries.
- Taking too much potassium increases the risk of a heart attack.
We could go on the list further, but you get what we mean: vitamins, minerals and everything that is beneficial to our body become harmful when taken in excess. Even if you only use one food supplement, you take this risk because you continue to get vitamins and minerals from daily foods too. In fact, using food supplements often causes you to experience an “overdose.” Let's give a simple example: the calcium your body needs is between 1,000 and 1,200 mg per day. If you consume dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, you are already getting all the calcium you need. If you use a food supplement on top of that, much more calcium enters your body than necessary, and this can clog your veins as we mentioned above.
Even if you use food supplements carefully, there are no scientific studies showing that they work. However, there are studies showing the opposite. A study that continued for 19 years on 40,000 women revealed that women who used multivitamin - multimineral supplements did not get rid of diseases such as cancer and even had a higher risk of death than women who never used these products. In short, you may be using a product that does nothing and even harm your health. Think twice before using food supplements.