Do you reach for a bottle of multivitamins every morning? Does your weekly grocery shopping include a stop at the health food store to replenish your stock of botanicals and probiotics? Do you follow a diet with restrictions and guidelines like vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian and take supplements to ensure you’re filling your recommended daily requirements?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are not alone. More than half of all Americans take at least one dietary supplement regularly, according to the National Institutes of Health.
In many cases, dietary supplements improve your health. They can boost your nutrient levels and help ensure your body has what it needs to function. If your food preference and eating lifestyle restricts certain foods, supplements can be a good way to fill any nutritional gaps. Some supplements reduce your risk of disease.
However, dietary supplements cannot take the place of a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods. In some cases, they do more harm than good and may cause unwanted or dangerous side effects. No one should start taking dietary supplements, especially if you have a chronic health condition, without first consulting their primary care physician.
Different products have different combinations of nutrients listed on their ingredients and it can be difficult to determine which are vital to your health and which are mostly marketing.
Let’s take a look at one of the more commonly included nutrients—magnesium. You see it on multiple labels, but do you understand what it is, where it comes from and what it can do for your health? Here’s what you need to know.
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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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