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Here’s why the benefits of dietary supplements aren’t black and white

benefits of dietary supplements

The reality is that if you and I take the same vitamin or supplement, it can have very different effects on each of our bodies. That’s because there are a lot of factors that affect the efficacy of the tablets or other forms. Below are 6 factors that affect the benefits of dietary supplements, all of which you need to consider before you start taking one as part of your wellness routine.

6 factors in the effectiveness of supplements:

1. Your starting point

Essentially, a supplement is designed to make up for nutritional gaps in your diet and deficiencies. A comprehensive health assessment by an expert is what you really need before understanding the kind of products you need to close these gaps.

Your initial nutritional status determines how long it will take to get results from supplementation. For example, someone who is significantly deficient in vitamin D will take more time to see benefits of dietary supplements relating to that particular vitamin level as compared to someone with a slight deficiency.

2. Recommended dosage

Another fact that has a far-reaching impact on the supplement’s efficacy is the dosage. Ideally, you should consult a healthcare professional to get an expert recommendation of an optimal dosage just right for you.

There is no point using a product in the wrong quantity because less than optimal will get you nowhere while an overdose can actually do more harm than good. The idea is to take a safe and clinically beneficial amount that an expert recommends for you to get quick, sustainable benefits.

3. Absorption rate affects benefits of supplements

The absorption rate of a supplement is often an overlooked concern but this factor can singularly make all the difference to the efficacy of the product. The faster that your body is able to absorb the nutrients from the product, the faster you get the results.

Thus, it is important to choose the right form of supplementation. You can check out the different options, including:

  • Capsules
  • Tablets
  • Drinks
  • Powders
  • Energy bars

Moreover, don’t hesitate in trying novel products, such as supplement patches from PatchMD that render easy and quick topical absorption for increased bioavailability of nutrients.

Product quality

The wellness market is flooded with hundreds of products. But the key to getting the best benefits from them is to choose one that is high quality.

Considering the awesome choices out there, it’s easy to get confused about what’s top notch and what’s not. In this case, getting professional help from a qualified practitioner is the best way to start.

Furthermore, read labels carefully and check the quality and potency of the active ingredients in a product. Also, avoid the ones that have suspicious ingredients.

A few questionable things on the label are:

  • Sugar
  • Preservatives
  • Artificial colors

Make sure that you stick to trusted brands too. 

Dietary supplements quote

Individual needs affect benefits of supplements too

Just because your friend or co-worker raves about the benefits of dietary supplements they take doesn’t mean that it can do the same for you. Everyone has unique nutritional requirements and responds differently to supplementation.

The efficacy of a specific product, therefore, greatly depends on your needs as an individual. For example, a protein powder may have a buddy looking like a fitness champ in a few months and still do nothing for you even after consistent usage over a long period. 

In this situation it could be the particular supplement just isn’t the best one to get you results. If so, consider making a switch.

Your diet and lifestyle

While supplements can open doors to good health, you cannot expect them to get you results unless you combine them with healthy eating and regular exercise. That means avoiding these 14 foods and staying active.

And here’s a very important reminder:

Supplementation is not an alternative to a poor diet. Instead, it supports your attempt to live healthy by enhancing your dietary efforts.

If you want to see the results or benefits of dietary supplements, then make sure that you eat healthily and follow a fitness-oriented lifestyle. It’s not one or the other, either.

Considering the benefits of dietary supplements

By now it’s clear that there are many factors that affect the results when consuming vitamins or other types of supplementation. Keep these things in mind to get a reasonable idea about timelines for achieving results. After all, it’s the results that help motivate you to be consistent with consuming them and trying to be your best self.

10 thoughts on “Here’s why the benefits of dietary supplements aren’t black and white”

  1. Apotheosis Training Performance (ATP)

    Supplements and vitamins only work as hard as the consumer. They are used to fill in the dietary gaps and used to assist in workouts and aid in energy. Poor marketing gives them the worse rep because companies like to use “magic pill” theory, take this and just lose weight because this previously fit guy/gal we pay to model lost 15 lbs easy so can you. People buy a fat burner and sit in McDonald’s popping nuggets like tic tacs then swear the pill is fake or not working. Most likely the fat burner is great if your burning fat not packing it on. Calories in versus Calories out.

  2. Informative post! I have not heard of supplementary patch before, and it seems to be a fantastic option. Thanks for sharing useful info on dietary supplements.

  3. Love this. I take vitamins (when I remember) but I never feel anything. But, I take under the recommended dosage. I use it more for “maintenance.” Haha. But considering the form, and what is unique for you, I understand better why everyone is different. This makes me think how in Ayurvedic medicine, each person has a predominant “dosha” (well, generally they have a predominant one, some people don’t). But someone with vata (which I am) dosha shouldn’t eat certain foods and steer clear from different kinds of oils and supplements. A pitta dosha does better with certain oils and foods that a vata person does not. All this to say that we’re all unique in our dietary and suppelment needs. Thanks for the reminder. 😁

    1. Your explanation totally makes sense, Cyndi! I’m thankful to have someone as in tune with their body giving this post a nod! That means a lot to me! I hope you’re having a great start to the week :)

  4. Absolutely, Christy! I’ ve known for a long time that taking vitamins doesn’t make up for poor eating habits, but I didn’t realize that supplements could be such a potential land mine also. Thanks for the info!

  5. All I can say to this post is, “Amen!” :D I love how you pointed out that just because someone you know or tons of reviewers have raved about a particular supplement does not mean it will jive well with your own body or nutritional needs. People *really* need to be aware of this.

    I’m a “natural nut” and advocate the use of nutritional supplements. It amazes me how supplementing with the right thing at the right time can totally transform how you feel. BUT, there is a very dark side. I’ve been going through this myself recently. While trying to balance my hormones, I recently started taking a supplement supposedly designed for this purpose. That sent me in to a tail spin these last couple of months of deep depression, anxiety (both of which I already have a history of) and extreme hair shedding. There is no such thing as a one size fits all supplement.

    I’m glad you are here to remind people to be smart about their health my friend :)

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