The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 created the definition of supplements, cementing this unique class of foods. Dietary supplements must be ingested through the mouth, whether as a pill, tablet, capsule, softgel, chewy gummy, chewable tablet, melt-away, powder, drink, or bar. And the kinds of ingredients included can be wide ranging, indeed.
Here's a look at the main types of ingredients in supplement products, all of which are regulated by the law.
These are organic compounds the body needs for normal growth and metabolism. These are all the "letter" vitamins, such as vitamin A and D.
Minerals are inorganic elements, such as calcium and magnesium, that the body requires for normal health. Your body can't make these, so you need to get them through your diet.
These include ingredients from plant leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, or bark.
Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins. There are hundreds of amino acids on the planet, but only 20 in the human body. Eight of those amino acids cannot be manufactured by your body's cells, making them essential to get through your diet.
Think of these as catalysts, like a key in a lock, that you need to unlock specific chemical reactions in the body, including digestive functions and cellular metabolism.
These support the body's systems, such as metabolism and energy creation, that are governed by the endocrine system.
This is a catchall category for supplements synthesized or produced from whole ingredients. These include omega-3s, botanical extracts, and metabolites—something your body produces during normal metabolism but, in a supplement form, may help boost normal function.
You see these ingredients a lot in sports nutrition supplements, such as creatine monohydrate, a metabolite of the organic acid creatine (prevalent in raw fish and meat) that's used to supply energy to your body's cells, especially muscles.
What is a dietary supplement? @deliciousliving demystifies the definition & types #health #nutrition
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This a great summary of supplements. I especially like the amino acids and enzymes explanations.
I think one of the most important things to remember about supplements - is that they are just that, and aren't meant to be 'permanents' or a substitute for nutrient rich food and a healthy lifestyle. This was a great breakdown of the options - but food and smart living should always come first!
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