Supplements have been recommended for decades. Should you take them?
According to new research, some of the commonly used dietary supplements interfere with the effectiveness of medically prescribed drugs. The challenge lays in the fact that most individuals do not share their supplements intake with their physicians, making it difficult for medical researchers to find supplement and drug combinations that should be avoided.
Until now, a few drug and supplement combinations have been found to interfere with each other. Ginseng and chokeberry juice, for example, are reported to affect the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs used during cancer treatment. Likewise, warfarin, a drug used to reduce blood clotting, is less effective when taken together with flaxseeds, goji juice, and chamomile.
Supplements, however, should also not be avoided entirely. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the following individuals are suitable candidates for taking supplements:
a) Women of childbearing age should consume folic acid or a diet rich in iron.
b) People living in colder climates should take Vitamin D in the form of fortified foods or as a supplement.
a) Supplements may cause harm when taken in wrong quantity even when the person is otherwise healthy. Overuse can lead to significant health problems.
b) Supplements are not a replacement for a healthy diet.
When taking supplements, it is important to take the right amount and to disclose their intake to your physician.
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