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Health Supplements-Growing Demand and Credibility

Premium Photo | Close-up tablespoon filled with various dietary supplements,  tablets and vitamins on a gray fabric backgroundA growing number of consumers are turning to health supplements as an alternative or addition to mainstream medicine. Today’s consumers are savvy and understand the benefits of the ingredients found in health supplements for good health and well-being. While they are apprehensive 保健品 of nutritional products, they value brands that offer manufacturing credibility and prefer products formulated under doctor supervision.

As more consumers place priority on their health, health supplements are fast becoming a popular choice. This focus is reflected in the booming growth of the U. S. dietary supplement market, presently estimated to be valued at $24-25 billion. In spite of prevailing doubts about the integrity of health supplement manufacturers, the rising cost of raw materials and new regulations, the health supplement industry is projected to rise by 4-6% in the next year. By the year 2010 growth in the global nutraceuticals industry is projected to reach $187 billion.

According to NMI’s 2007 Health & Wellness Trends Survey, the top health categories for supplements are weight loss, cardiovascular support, digestion, arthritis or joint pain relief, seasonal allergy relief, vision and eye health, and diabetes. “Customers believe in the industry. A recent study found that 34% of consumers looking to lose weight first turn to a dietary supplement as their adjunct in the battle against obesity, ” says Douglas S. Kalman, director of nutrition and applied clinical research at Miami Research Associates and chair of the Nutrition in Complementary Care Dietetic Practice Group (NCC-DPG). WARNING: This label may be misleading the public. Supplement facts represented on this label may be inaccurate or other valuable information withheld in order for this product to attract more selling value. Labels in the health supplement industry are often misleading. The FDA has limited oversight on health supplements. High profits in this lucrative industry has attracted all kinds of manufacturers, many using inferior raw materials, negligent production practices, inaccurate labeling and false claims to sell their products. The industry is so large and expanding that all kinds of manufacturers can make a niche for themselves in this highly profitable sector. How can you make a wise choice for a quality health supplement product? First, let’s understand what a health supplement is.

Health supplements are dietary supplements defined by Congress in the Dietary supplement Health and Education Act, 1994 as being, “a product (other than tobacco) taken by mouth that contains a dietary ingredient intended to supplement the diet. The dietary ingredients in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites. ” These supplements can be in various forms such as capsules, tablets, soft-gels, gel-caps, powders, liquids, or even bars. They can be used for many different purposes such as lowering cholesterol, increasing energy, supporting immune health, weight loss, weight/muscle gain, for overall well-being, or other health-benefiting reasons. These products are sold at health food stores, grocery stores, drug stores, national discount chains, mail-order and Internet.

Choosing from a myriad of health supplements can be a daunting task for a consumer. For any particular health concern, most health supplements all promise the same benefit, all have the same, if not similar ingredients. So how do you choose? Some of them even make tall, incredible health claims and only a few of them carry any precautionary warnings. Here are a few guidelines to go by when choosing a health supplement. The market for nutritional health supplements is booming at present. Increasingly people are taking more of an interest in their health and want to improve their well-being. Both adults and children alike are turning to nutritional health supplements to achieve this. And many of them are finding the nutritional health supplements are proving well worth the investment.

At the core of any course of nutritional health supplements is a good daily multivitamin. This will ensure optimal functions within the body, which lead to good mental and physical well-being. However it is often useful to add to any course of multivitamins specific nutritional health supplements that suit the individual concerned. For example, people who are at risk of heart disease may find a course of CoQ10 effective in staving off the condition. Similarly Alzheimers can be positively avoided through an intake of vitamins C and E.

A good multivitamin will provide most if not all the recommended daily dosage of essential vitamins and nutrients needed by the body. Many multivitamins are specifically formulated to meet the needs of specific groups of people such as pregnant women, the over 50s and growing children.

There is some debate over the best way to take nutritional health supplements. Some people advocate multivitamin drinks, claiming the body absorbs the nutrients better; others believe a good quality tablet taken with food is the best method. Evidence is inconclusive for either argument, although if tablets are taken it is worth checking the coating used as some cheaper brands will use a sugar or glycerin coating that will not degrade fast enough in the body. In some instances multivitamin tablets have been known to pass through the gut intact. A simple test is to leave one of the tablets in a glass of water: it should start to dissolve within 60 minutes.

Generally the body needs a selection of 13 basic vitamins to function at it’s best. The vitamins we need for optimum performance are vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, B12 and the B-complex vitamins (of which there are seven).

Most of the vitamins we need are found in the foods we eat but not everyone has a balanced diet rich in the correct nutrients and much of the food we consume is so intensely farmed or processed that the goodness we could expect is depleted. A reduction in the vitamins and minerals in our bodies can lead to various ailments, some of them serious.

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