Dietary supplements are products intended for ingestion as supplements to the diet. Dietary supplements can have vitamins, herbs, enzymes, extracts, plant substances, amino acids, botanicals, and concentrates. Supplements are beneficial to the body because they can enhance the nutrients in foods, aid in weight loss, provide energy, cure illnesses, optimize health, and protect against diseases. If a person does not consume enough nutrients because of a disease or eating habits dietary supplements are extremely beneficial.
There are certain groups that benefit most from dietary supplements; pregnant women, vegetarians, dieters, and the elderly. An increase of folic acid and iron is needed to reduce the risk of defects and prevent anemia. Vegetarians should take vitamin B12 because they do not eat animal foods which contain more vitamin B12 than any other food source. If a person eats less than 1200 calories when on a diet, they will not get the amount of nutrients needed. If dieters take a multi-vitamin they will meet the daily recommendations for nutrients.
Anyone over the age of 50 should take calcium, Vitamin D, and B12 to maintain a healthy life. Calcium and vitamin D will help keep the bones strong, lower blood pressure, and prevent diseases like osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin B12 will promote heart health and fight fatigue. There are many risks when taking dietary supplements. Dietary supplements are not regulated or tested by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for side effects before they are available to consumers (“The skinny on dietary supplements,” 2008).
Dietary supplements are also harmful because they contain chemicals that can be harmful. Some supplements contain non-essential hormones and enzymes. Dietary supplements may cause medications, over-the-counter or prescribed, to work differently or not at all. When taking any supplement it is important to read the label and ask a physician before taking the supplement to reduce chances of toxicity. Many people think dietary supplements provide all the nutrients needed to support a healthy diet; they are only part of a ealthy diet (Grosvenor, 2006). As stated earlier, the government does not regulate dietary supplements as they do other foods and drugs (“U. S. Food and Drug Administration: Dietary Supplements”, 2013). In 1994 the government created the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). The act states manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the product is safe before it is put on the market. If the product is unsafe after it is on the market the FDA is responsible for taking action to correct the issue.
The FDA is responsible for providing product information and literature. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure all ingredients are listed on the labels of the product and the information is true. The manufacturer has to submit reports for any supplement that has any type of negative reaction. The FDA implemented a Dietary Supplement Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMPs) that all personnel in the company must follow to ensure quality control. Supplements are needed by people with life-threatening diseases like kidney failure.
People that have kidney failure, depending on the type of dialysis they use, peritoneal or hemodialysis. Peritoneal dialysis uses osmosis and diffusion through the peritoneal cavity to remove waste and fluid; this process causes a lack of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Hemodialysis uses an artificial kidney to remove wastes and fluids from the blood; this process causes a lack of phosphorus, iron, and epogen. The common bond between both types of dialysis is the lack of phosphorus.
Phosphorus supplements are used to strengthen the bones of dialysis patients, prevent renal bone disease, and keep the heart healthy. The dose varies from patient to patient, depending on the food intake. If the patient does not take the prescribed dose they experience many different effects. If too much of the phosphorus supplement is ingested, itching will occur. If not enough phosphorus is ingested, weakness will occur and bones will begin to get brittle causing them to break.
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