Solon: Are supplements safe? – SUNSTAR

As a society, we want things to be quick. We like taking shortcuts. And…

As a society, we want things to be quick. We like taking shortcuts. And if there’s a product in the market that can offer us a quick fix, we take it.

In a study, Olympic athletes were asked: If there was something they could take that would improve their chances of winning a gold medal, would they take it even if it subtracted 10 years from their life? Overwhelmingly, the athletes responded with the affirmative.

Supplements come in all shapes and sizes. In 2018, a British individual caught the news when consumption of green tea pills caused so much damage to his liver that he needed a liver transplant. Cases like these are unusual, but they show us the possible damage caused by unregulated use of supplements.

There is also a notion, that if it’s good for us, we should take more of it. When supplements are taken in the exceeded dose it can be potentially harmful. So how do we as consumers practice safe supplement consumption?

Purchase supplements from reputable suppliers. They should have gone through rigorous quality assurance.

Be informed. Check if these supplements have been tested in clinical trials with a cohort of people that is similar to them (comparable age, sex etc.)

Look for warnings in the label. For example, people would want to check if the supplement is harmful for those with heart conditions.

Be cautious about taking multiple supplements at the same time.

Stick within recommended doses.

Remembers, supplements are just that, they are a supplement to a healthy, balanced, varied and moderate food diet. It should not replace your food. Consult your physician and your dietician before consumption of any supplement for health or fitness.