What you should know about dietary supplements

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What are food supplements?

Dietary supplements are nutrients and active ingredients that are intended to support the general diet. Since food supplements are considered to be foodstuffs, they do not require official approval, unlike medicinal products. Therefore, when purchasing them, special care should be taken to ensure that the manufacturer's preparations are certified according to common quality standards such as ISO or GMP in order to guarantee the best possible quality. They can be purchased in the form of tablets, powder or capsules. Dietary supplements contain minerals and vitamins that are also found in a normal diet, but in higher doses and in concentrated form. They can also be amino acids, herbal extracts, trace elements and fatty acids. Dietary supplements are provided with a consumption recommendation and often have specific instructions, e.g. that they should be stored out of the reach of children or a daily recommended consumption quantity that should not be exceeded.

The Food Safety and Consumer Protection Act defines the term food supplements (NEM):

"Foodstuffs intended to supplement the normal diet and consisting of single or multiple concentrates of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, marketed in dose form, i.e. in the form of e.g. capsules, pastilles, tablets, pills and other similar forms, sachets of powder, ampoules of liquids, dropper bottles and similar forms of liquids and powders intended to be taken in measured small quantities.

Are food supplements necessary?

In general, a balanced and varied diet provides the human body with all the substances essential to life. However, as many people nowadays do not eat enough, too few nutrients are taken in and often deficiencies occur, which can therefore be supplemented with food supplements. Depending on the age group or situation, people are also recommended to supplement their diet, e.g. pregnant women, who have an increased need for certain nutrients both during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. As many people do not get enough sunlight due to their work, there is a high vitamin D3 deficiency, which could thus be remedied. Chronically ill people or people who are known to be undersupplied should have their levels checked regularly by taking a blood sample in order to be able to take proper preventive measures.

Where should dietary supplements be stored?

Dietary supplements are best stored in their original packaging. You should also make sure that they are kept cool and dry. If there are small children living in the household, the supplements should also be stored in an elevated or locked place.

How do I recognize the best nutritional supplements?

Many preparations sold online and in retail stores come from the Far East and contain chemicals such as microcrystalline cellulose or magnesium stearate in addition to the actual active ingredient. These substances are nano substances which have not yet been sufficiently investigated in current research and which can penetrate the intestinal wall due to their small size. Therefore, when buying them, you should make sure that they contain only vegetable fillers in addition to the desired substance. The country of production should also play a major role in the selection. Preparations that come from Germany usually contain high-quality ingredients and are better regulated.



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