What Are Nutritional Supplements?

Those who wish to prevent or lower their risk of developing health problems, or who want to maintain good health, often take nutritional supplements. Easy to find and consume, supplements can be purchased without a prescription. What are they and should you be taking them? Let’s find out.

pills spilling out of a jar on a wooden surface

Nutrient Delivery

The primary role of any nutritional supplement is to deliver amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and similar substances to the body. Why would anyone need to do this? The main reason is the nutrient content of the food we eat today. Because of modern agricultural methods that have stripped the soil of its nutrients, the food grown in it is also significantly depleted.

Taking nutritional supplements helps to replace those nutrients lost due to soil depletion, allowing the body to keep receiving the nutrients it needs.

Benefits of Taking Supplements

Supplements can restore the body’s nutrient balance, but there are many other reasons to take them.

Osteoporosis can be prevented or improved when a calcium or vitamin D supplement is taken. People with vision loss can benefit from a combination of vitamins and minerals known as AREDS that includes lutein, vitamin E, and cupric oxide.

Those who engage in exercise can benefit from supplements like L-Arginine, which is an amino acid. This particular supplement helps to increase blood flow in the body, increasing stamina during exercise and reducing recovery time afterward. Its circulation-enhancing properties are also used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.


It’s true that natural supplements offer many benefits to overall health. However, there are a few cautions to be aware of before taking them.

Some assume that because supplements contain needed nutrients, that they can replace those obtained from food. This is not only untrue but dangerous. Maintaining a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and grains is always necessary.

Mega-dosing or taking much more of a supplement than the recommended dose is not advised. Too much of any nutrient in the body can result in toxicity, as well as cause a dangerous imbalance. Some supplements can interfere with the effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs.

Talking to a medical professional is always the best way to determine the optimal individual dosage of any supplement.

Who Can Take Supplements?

collection of fruits and vegetable such as carrots raspberries and tomatoes

Many people can take supplements. Women who are planning to become pregnant are advised to take folic acid, and those who are already pregnant are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins. Older adults over 50 can eat fortified foods containing vitamin B12 or take a B12 supplement. Vitamin D is recommended for adults 65 and over to reduce fall risk.

Anyone with a diet that doesn’t contain necessary nutrients can take supplements. This includes those with milk allergies or lactose intolerance, those on a vegan or vegetarian diet, individuals with a medical condition affecting nutrient absorption, and those who have had surgery on their digestive tract.

Herbal supplements from Forrest Health combine natural ingredients with the latest technology for maximum benefit. Get more information by calling 408-354-4262 today.

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