The Biggest Benefits of Taking Supplements and Vitamins
The global dietary supplements market is expected to increase by 8.2% between 2020 and 2027. Consumers worldwide use these products to fill nutritional gaps, keep their immune system strong, or relieve pain.
Supplements and vitamins are by no means a cure-all, but they can boost your health and well-being when used as part of a balanced diet.
Some have therapeutic effects and may help with diabetes, high blood pressure, or inflammation. Others provide essential nutrients that may help boost immune function. Their efficacy depends largely on the ingredients used.
The question is: do you really need dietary supplements? Most importantly, how do they benefit your health?
Let's find out!
Are You Getting Enough Nutrients?
In a perfect world, your diet should provide all of the nutrients required for optimal health.
Unfortunately, most foods are highly processed and lack nutritional value. Others lose vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants during cooking.
The truth is that many people are malnourished despite the wide variety of foods available. Malnutrition can arise from vitamin and mineral deficiencies too, not just from starvation.
A diet low in iron, for example, may lead to anaemia. This condition affects over 800 million women and children worldwide. Its symptoms include fatigue, low energy, colds heads and feet, dizziness, and pale skin.
Vitamin A deficiency is common too, especially among children, pregnant women, and older adults. If left unaddressed, it may lead to blindness, visual impairment, and recurring infections.
Furthermore, 24.7% of British women aged 20 to 29 are deficient in potassium. Approximately 8.6% are not getting enough zinc. Fewer than 10% meet their daily calcium requirements.
Men, on the other hand, are not getting enough vitamin A, selenium, and magnesium in their diets.
Each of these nutrients has a specific role in your body. Magnesium, for instance, regulates over 300 enzymatic reactions. This mineral is crucial for protein synthesis, blood sugar control, energy production, and more.
Even those with a balanced diet may develop nutrient deficiencies. Certain lifestyle factors and health conditions may affect the bioavailability and absorption of iron, calcium, and other micronutrients.
A good example is Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder that affects one in every 650 people in the UK. This condition can reduce your body's ability to absorb protein, fats, iron, folic acid, zinc, and more.
Dietary supplements can help fill nutritional gaps and prevent deficiencies. Some may also help you manage certain disorders, improve immune function, or reduce cholesterol levels.
The Role of Supplements and Vitamins
If you're reading this, you probably want to know more about the benefits of taking supplements. As mentioned earlier, their therapeutic action depends on the ingredients used.
Some dietary supplements may help increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
For example, they may contain calcium and vitamin D, which work together to keep your bones strong. Others are rich in omega-3s, a class of fatty acids that promote cardiovascular health.
You may also take supplements for certain conditions, like chronic pain and inflammation. Turmeric, for instance, contains curcumin, a polyphenol with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering effects.
In clinical trials, curcumin has been proven effective in the management of kidney disorders, metabolic syndrome, pain, and more.
It may also help improve the symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Due to its antioxidant properties, it scavenges free radicals and may slow down ageing.
Melatonin, another popular ingredient, promotes a good night's sleep. Additionally, it may help reduce oxidative stress and relieve seasonal depression symptoms.
Multivitamins, electrolyte formulas, and other supplements may benefit athletes. Regular gym-goers and active individuals have higher nutritional needs and may take potassium, magnesium, or zinc to perform at their peak.
If you're pregnant, you may need higher doses of folic acid and other B vitamins. These nutrients promote cell growth and development, regulate energy production, and may protect against congenital defects.
The NHS recommends pregnant women to take a daily formula that provides about 400 micrograms of folic acid. Women with diabetes and other conditions may need up to five micrograms of this vitamin per day.
Food alone doesn't provide adequate doses of folic acid. That's where supplements come in handy.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the key ingredients in dietary supplements and how they benefit your health.
5-HTP Regulates Your Mood and Sleep
L-5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a naturally occurring compound that promotes mental and physical well-being. Since it's a serotonin precursor, it can boost your mood and improve your body's ability to handle stress.
5-HTP supplements increase natural serotonin production, helping to catch more ZZZs.
Additionally, 5-HTP may reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. In one study, it had the same therapeutic efficacy as fluoxetine, a widely used antidepressant.
Clinical evidence suggests that 5-HTP may also facilitate weight loss and improve appetite control. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Berberine May Improve Sugar and Lipid Metabolism
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a major risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance. Elevated cholesterol levels can further contribute to these issues.
One option is to take hypoglycemic and lipid-lowering drugs. Although these medications work, their side effects shouldn't be ignored.
Berberine, an all-natural supplement, is much safer and well-tolerated.
This herbal compound comes from Berberis, a group of shrubs, and other plants with therapeutic action. It not only helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels but also exhibits antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Berberine supplements activate AMPK, an enzyme that regulates your metabolism. This may help increase glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, leading to improved glycemic control.
In the long run, berberine may help lower your risk of diabetes and other related conditions.
Furthermore, this compound may have beneficial effects on body weight. It not only reduces blood sugar but also balances the gut flora, which in turn may aid in fat loss.
Vitamin K2 Promotes Cardiovascular and Bone Health
Menaquinone, or vitamin K2, plays a key role in blood clotting, cardiovascular function, and bone formation. It occurs naturally in fermented foods and animal foods, but it's also available in pill form.
This nutrient helps your body absorb and use calcium, leading to stronger bones. At the same time, it helps prevent vascular calcification.
Excess calcium can accumulate in your arteries and put you at risk of cardiovascular problems. Vitamin K2 protects against heart disease by reducing calcium buildup.
Dietary supplements containing vitamin K2 are particularly beneficial for women. When used as part of a well-rounded diet, they may help lower the risk of fractures, osteoporosis, and bone loss.
A three-year study has found that women who took vitamin K2 experienced a slower decline in bone mass and bone mineral density. This nutrient also increased their bone strength and decreased spinal shrinkage.
Each year, osteoporosis is responsible for 8.9 million fractures. This bone disease affects more than 200 million women worldwide, leading to bone loss, falls, and poor balance. Men can develop osteoporosis too.
The best thing you can do is to prevent these issues in the first place.
A diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and other essential nutrients will keep your bones strong until late in life. Dietary supplements, like vitamin K2, may further help improve bone health.
Keep Your Bladder Healthy with D-Mannose
Interstitial cystitis, overactive bladder, and urinary stones can affect anyone, regardless of age.
As time goes by, your risk of experiencing these problems increases. If left unaddressed, they can affect your quality of life and cause complications.
D-mannose has emerged as a natural way to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder disorders. This natural sugar occurs in some fruits and vegetables, such as cabbage, cranberries, and green beans. You can also find it in pill or powder form.
A large-scale study conducted on women with recurring UTIs compared D-mannose, antibiotics, and a placebo.
Subjects who took D-mannose had significantly fewer UTIs over six months than the placebo group. They also reported fewer side effects than those taking antibiotics.
This natural sugar binds to the bacteria responsible for UTIs and helps eliminate them from the urinary tract. It appears to be particularly effective against E.coli as it prevents it from attaching to the bladder wall.
Restore Your Health and Energy Naturally
These are just a few of the many supplements and vitamins recommended for optimal health. Unlike conventional drugs, they have an excellent safety profile and can be used for an extended time.
At Gower Health, we use the highest quality raw ingredients. Our formulas are manufactured and packaged in the UK and contain no additives, preservatives, or GMOs.
Now it's more important than ever before to keep your immune system strong. Focus on your health and use the best products to boost your natural defences.
Browse our online store to see what we have to offer. Our formulas are backed up by a 100% money-back guarantee, so go ahead and give them a try.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.