Millions of people worldwide take some type of health supplement every day. Some supplements improve general health, while others are explicitly taken to boost cognitive performance, weight loss, or promote muscle growth. But do these supplements actually work? And if so, how do they work? Read on to find out.
While some people may get all the nutrients they need from a balanced diet, others may not be able to get enough of certain nutrients from food alone. This is especially true for people who have special dietary needs or who cannot absorb nutrients properly. In these cases, supplements can be a helpful way to ensure that the body gets the nutrients it needs.
Health supplements come in many forms, including pills, powders, and liquids. They can be made from natural ingredients or synthetic chemicals. Some supplements are taken daily, while others are only taken when needed.
Improving Body Systems
Most health supplements contain one or more vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, or enzymes. These substances work together to improve the function of the body’s systems.
For example, vitamin C helps the immune system function properly, and it can be paired with magnesium which supports healthy bones and teeth. Meanwhile, a vitamin C serum applied to the skin externally dissolves dead skin cells through its acidic antioxidants. That triggers cell repair and the emergence of better-looking skin. So the same vitamin makes you better inside and out.
Similarly, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s essential for the health of red blood cells. It helps the body use vitamin K. It’s also an antioxidant that can be taken internally. When applied topically, it can help improve the appearance of the skin, hair, and nails.
Zinc is another example of a nutrient with various benefits. It helps the immune system fight off infection, supports wound healing, and aids in the production of hormones and enzymes. Zinc is also necessary for a proper sense of taste and smell.
B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that play an important role in energy metabolism. They are often taken together because they work best as a team. For instance, vitamin B6 helps the body metabolize protein, while vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells.
Treating Specific Conditions
Health supplements can also be used to treat specific conditions. For example, St. John’s wort is a popular herbal supplement that is taken to treat mild depression. It works by increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation.
Ginkgo biloba is another example of a supplement that is taken to improve cognitive function. This herb has been shown to improve memory and thinking in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
For people with urinary problems, cranberry supplements can help to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract.
Aiding Weight Loss
There are a variety of health supplements on the market that are promoted for weight loss. These include green tea extract, Garcinia Cambogia, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Green tea extract is a popular supplement for weight loss because it contains caffeine and catechins, which are compounds that have been shown to boost metabolism and promote fat burning. Meanwhile, caffeine is also used in topical products such as eye creams to prevent water retention and reduce puffiness.
Garcinia cambogia is another weight loss supplement that contains a compound called hydroxycitric acid, which has been shown to suppress appetite and prevent the body from storing fat.
CLA is a type of fatty acid that has been shown to reduce body fat and increase muscle mass. It is often taken in the form of a supplement, but it can also be found in dairy products and beef.
Another common ingredient is chromium, which is a mineral that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Chromium supplements are often taken by people with type 2 diabetes to help control their blood sugar levels.
While health supplements can be beneficial, it’s important to remember that they should not be used as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol use are all important for maintaining good health.
Boost Your Health with Supplements
So, there you have it. Health supplements can offer a wide range of benefits. By understanding how they work, you can choose the right supplements to support your health goals. When choosing a health supplement, it is important to choose one that is made from natural ingredients and that has been tested for safety.
Health supplements can be a helpful way to improve your overall health or treat specific conditions. Just be sure to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication. They can interact with medications you may be taking. With your doctor’s approval, you can make the most of these health boosters.