Choosing the Right Dietary Supplements: Safety and Expiration Dates

dietary supplements

There is a lot of false information out there. How sure are you that your dietary supplements are safe to take? Even if you are well-informed and knowledgeable about these things, there can be something that the product labels don’t disclose to you.

Just like any other drug, dietary supplements have their risks and side effects, although people’s bodies react differently from one another. Consumers mostly rely on labels and descriptions since no professionals, such as doctors or pharmacists prescribe the supplements to them. Sometimes, drugs in these supplements are experimental, in which case they are removed from the market because they are too dangerous.

Not only can experimental dietary supplements be a waste of money, but they can also be threatening to your health and well-being. What are the contents of these supplements you should look out for?

Too Much Vitamin D

As you might already know, Vitamin D helps absorb calcium in the body. Having just the right amount of it is enough and healthy. Other benefits include bone protection. Supplementation of this vitamin is necessary and helpful because you can’t find enough of this in the food you eat daily. Plus, since you spend most of your time indoors, it isn’t really doing anything.

However, too much of it can damage your kidneys. Vitamin D toxicity can make you nauseous and weak, and your urination can be more frequent than normal. You could also have the possible risk of stroke and heart attack.

St. John’s Wort Combined with Other Drugs

St. John’s wort is used to treat mild cases of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. In a published study of the Journal of Affective Disorders, they found that St. John’s wort worked like any antidepressant does, reducing signs of depression.

Taking this herbal remedy with other antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and oral contraceptives can be dangerous to one’s health. It can even cause deadly outcomes, like too much chemical serotonin in the brain.

Taking St. John’s worst can also diminish the effectiveness of birth control pills, chemotherapy, and HIV or AIDS treatment.

Too Much Calcium

Calcium strengthens the bones and prevents osteoporosis. Doctors recommend getting calcium from food rather than in supplements. But many people, especially women, take supplements to boost their calcium consumption because a weakening of bones can occur post-menopausal.

When taken enormously, you can also boost your chances of kidney stones and heart problems.

According to Charles and Jane Pak Center of Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research Director Naim Maalouf, the excess calcium you consumed from supplements could travel to fatty plaques in your arteries. Now, these plaques would reduce the blood supply to the heart, therefore, could cause heart problems.

holding a container of supplements

Heavy Metals

Of course, healthy metals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and zinc are all contributors to your body’s immunity. Although there are heavy metals that can contaminate dietary supplements such as lead and arsenic. Sometimes contain an exaggerated amount, which can higher the risks of cancer and dementia.

A study concluded that out of 121 products, five percent of them are much too dangerous because they contain an excessive amount of arsenic. Two percent of them had too much lead, cadmium, and aluminum, and one percent had excess mercury.

In 2019, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) confiscated thousands of dietary supplements because each of the pills contained too much lead.

Other Safety Precautions

Aside from the dangers mentioned earlier, dietary supplements don’t contain a moderate amount of vitamins, minerals, and other additives like ordinary food. That’s why it is highly probable that you can take too much of it, and that’s what makes this toxic instead of healthy.

Nutraceutical manufacturers, such as Yellow Emperor, ensure that their products are completely safe to consume before they release them to the market. The FDA only examines and approves the quality of these products but doesn’t guarantee effectiveness.

How Accurate Expiration Dates Are

Many people wonder whether expiration dates are accurate. The firm answer is yes!

According to loads of studies, expiration dates are just there to inform and guarantee consumers until when the drug is safest and most effective to consume.

Even when the drug is years past its expiration date, medical authorities say that it is still safe to take it. It will not cause any harm to you or your body, but what decreases is the effectiveness. They also state that storing your medication in a refrigerator will help keep its potency for many years.

While dietary supplements can be good for your nutrient boost, they can cause damage to your body as well. Thus, you have to be absolutely careful in taking them and consult a professional if you can. This way, not only can you avoid potential risks, but you can also put your money to good and healthy use.

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