The Council for Responsible Nutrition reports that 75% of Americans take dietary supplements. They come in various forms, including gummies, tablets, powders, drinks and energy bars. Supplements can contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, enzymes and other ingredients. Some products can be taken to supplement essential nutrients that could be missing if you lack a variety of nutritious foods in your diet. Others may be consumed to enhance athletic performance, strengthen the immune system, manage pain or improve mental health. While there’s evidence that supplements may be beneficial in some circumstances, there are also concerns, such as:
- Dietary supplements may be harmful when taken in certain combinations or with prescription drugs.
- There is a lack of federal oversight on dietary supplements.
- High doses of vitamins (e.g., vitamin C) can be problematic.
- Dietary supplements aren’t approved to treat or cure a disease.
It’s important to consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplements. They can determine if supplements are right for you.