label to ensure the supplement meets standards established by the U.S.
Pharmacopeia. The label should also include an expiration date.
-- More than 75 percent of Americans 50 years and older do not discuss
complementary and alternative medicine with their physicians, according
to a National Institutes of Health survey. Yet it is important to
consult your physician before taking dietary supplements because, much
like prescription medicines, supplements can cause adverse effects,
including interactions with other medicines. For example, people
taking high blood pressure medication may lower their blood pressure
too much if also taking fish oil supplements.
-- Vitamins convert food into energy and maintain proper digestion and
-- Many biological processes require vitamins, though opinions on the
health benefits of multivitamin supplements remain divided. One
essential nutrient with few side effects is Vitamin C, an antioxidant
which helps your body absorb iron.
-- Scientific studies show that Vitamin C only helps prevent colds for
people living in extreme conditions. Overall, eating whole foods that
contain Vitamin C, such as oranges, is a wiser choice than a Vitamin C
supplement because dietary sources provide a variety of nutrients. The
U.S. Food and Nutrition Board recommends 90 mg of Vitamin C per day for
men and 75 mg per day for women. One cup of strawberries provides a
full daily Vitamin C intake.
-- Minerals help regulate the balance of fluids in your body and are
essential to your health. Studies show that many Americans consume
less than half of the recommended amount of calcium, a mineral
important to bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis.
-- Women should tak
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