I see them every time I visit a supermarket. Shelves over shelves of different supplements and people that place them into their basket. Most of the time without reading what’s inside, the ingredient list, or wondering if they’ll work and if they’re safe.
The first thing to ask yourself is whether you need them in the first place.
Supplements are available without a prescription and usually come in pill, powder or liquid form. People take these supplements to make sure they get enough essential nutrients and to maintain or improve their health. But as I mentioned earlier, not everyone needs to take supplements.
Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet and they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.
It's possible to get all of the nutrients you need by eating a variety of healthy foods, but in some cases supplements can be useful for filling in gaps in your diet.
As medications, some supplements may have side effects, especially if taken before surgery or with other medicines; they can also cause problems if you have certain health conditions. But unlike medicines, supplements can't claim to cure, treat or prevent a disease as there's little evidence that any supplement can reverse the course of any chronic disease, hence do not take supplements with that expectation.