5 dietary supplements that you really shouldn’t be taking at all

5 dietary supplements that you really shouldn’t be taking at all

5 dietary supplements that you really shouldn't be taking at all.
5 dietary supplements that you really shouldn't be taking at all.

5 dietary supplements that you really shouldn’t be taking at all.

Please make yourself at home. A weekly column is written by nutrition editor and registered dietitian Jessica Ball. In this column, she discusses how to shop for groceries on a budget, prepare nutritious meals for one or two people, and make decisions that are more Earth-friendly without completely altering one’s lifestyle.

The market for supplements is expected to reach $152 billion in 2021, making it a multibillion-dollar business. There is a seemingly limitless selection of various goods available for purchase, and each of them makes the promise that they may assist enhance your health in some manner.

Don’t get me wrong; there are certain supplements that may genuinely be helpful, particularly for minerals that are difficult to acquire in your diet. But please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying (like iron or vitamin D if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet).

However, there are a few that aren’t worth the money—or the excitement. In this article, I will discuss five dietary supplements that, in my experience as a registered dietitian, I believe are best avoided.

According to the Advice of a Dietitian, These Are the Top 5 Supplements You Should

Never Take: 1. Dietary Supplements for Weight Reduction

To begin, let’s make it clear that increasing your health does not always result in losing weight, and conversely, not all instances of weight reduction are beneficial. And a good illustration of this is the use of vitamins for weight reduction.

Because weight reduction objectives are normally difficult to accomplish, the frustration that ensues has led to the proliferation of a number of “quick fix” solutions, powders, and pills that promise results quickly and in a short amount of time (usually via murky mechanisms).

However, the reality of the situation is that they aren’t really useful most of the time.

A study that looked at 315 clinical studies and was published in the journal Obesity in 2021 came to the conclusion that weight-loss pills did not result in people losing much or any significant amount of weight.

In addition, even if you were successful in losing weight by taking a supplement, the results would only be permanent if you continued to take the supplement.

Because the Food and Drug Administration does not have authority over these dietary supplements, it may be difficult to determine precisely what is included inside them… or even whether they are safe to use.

They also often come with a high price tag, which means that you may pay a lot of money, perhaps swallow something toxic, and not even get effects from it.

This is not a good option. Instead, put your attention on introducing a few little adjustments to your daily routines, such as new food habits and more opportunities for physical activity. If you want to reduce weight, this is a lot better choice for you, and it will probably make you feel better in the process as well.

Supplements that do not have a Certification from a Third Party

There are more than 80,000 different dietary supplements now on the market. The question now is, how can one quickly cut through the noise? Check to see whether there is a certification from a third party. Because the FDA does not conduct safety tests on any items before they are released onto the market, there is often very little responsibility for manufacturers.

Obtaining a certification from a third party, such as that offered by NSF, USP, Informed Sport, or BSCG, is one method that manufacturers may use to demonstrate that the components of the goods they sell are reliable and risk-free (check out this scorecard to see what logos to expect).

If a dietary supplement does not have any third-party certification, even if it is only a single component or a vitamin, I would recommend that you pass on it and go with one that does have certification.

Vitamins and Herbs You Take That Could Interfere with Your Medication

Be remember to discuss any medications you are currently taking with a member of your healthcare team before beginning a new supplement regimen. I have a clear recollection of the hefty book on food and medication interactions that I had to carry about in my backpack for the whole of my undergraduate degree in dietetics. This book required reading.

There are a great number of nutrients that have an effect on a variety of drugs, but this information is not disclosed when you buy a supplement. Vitamin K, for instance, has the potential to interact negatively with blood-thinning medications such as warfarin; hence, patients using warfarin are often required to keep a tight eye on the amount of vitamin K they consume.

If someone were to take this drug while also taking a vitamin K supplement, it would not be safe for them to do so. Because of this, it is essential to have a conversation with an expert before beginning anything new, even if it is just a vitamin or mineral supplement with a single component.

Caffeine Supplements

Caffeine is undoubtedly the most popular stimulant in the world, and some research suggests that it may even have some positive health effects when used in moderation.

You can get an energy and nutrition boost from beverages like coffee and tea, and it may be easier to notice when you’ve had too much to drink because of the high concentration of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components in these beverages.

However, high-dose caffeine supplements are simple to take and often contain two to three times the amount of caffeine in a single tablet compared to an 8-ounce cup of coffee.

This is likely to be more than you would normally eat in a single sitting. In addition to trembling, anxiety, and jitters in the near term, habitually consuming too much coffee may wreak havoc on your mental health, make some medical illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes, worse, and significantly damage your ability to sleep.

If you’re on the road and feeling fatigued, consider switching to a different kind of coffee and skipping the supplements that make you jittery instead.

Supplements with a High Dose

Our bodies have a wide variety of vitamin and mineral requirements in order to function properly. However, an excessive amount of anything may have negative effects on our bodies, and nutrients are not an exception to this rule. There is something that’s termed a “tolerable upper limit” for several vitamins and minerals (UL).

This is the maximum daily dose that may be taken without the risk of experiencing any harmful effects. Exceeding these limitations might result in an excessively high concentration of the nutrient in our systems, which can lead to detrimental consequences on our health, especially in the case of fat-soluble vitamins (such as A, D, E, and K) or heavy metals (like iron, copper and zinc).

There is no standardized method to assess whether or not the amount that they are advising is lower than the UL since supplements are not evaluated before they are released into the market.

Not only are supplements used in such high doses pointless, but there is also a possibility that they might be harmful.

Before going out to buy a supplement, it is crucial to perform some preliminary research and have a clear notion of exactly what it is you’re looking for in a product of this kind.

If you want to obtain a sense of how much of a certain nutrient you need, the Daily Recommended Intakes are an excellent place to start. You should also think about how often you eat foods that are good sources of that nutrient (which is usually a better way to meet your needs).

To help you fulfill your nutritional requirements, dietary supplements are designed to work in conjunction with the food you eat. Instead of taking high-dose supplements, choose one that may help you fill in the gaps without causing you to take too much of a good thing.

The Crux of the Matter

There are a lot of different supplements out there, and many of them may help you achieve your nutritional requirements, which can be beneficial to your health. However, there are also a number of supplements that should be avoided since they are not only harmful but also useless and, to be honest, not really worth the money.

If you use supplements, you should probably avoid taking any of these five. The money you save may be used toward purchasing healthful whole foods, which are wonderful, risk-free carriers for nutrients that are also delicious.