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Dietary supplements

What are dietary supplements, how do they differ from conventional drugs, what are their benefits, and when they can even be harmful - find out all this in our article.

The concept of a dietary supplement for weight loss, a biological supplement for potency improvement, a biological supplement for the liver, a biological supplement for joints burst into our reality - it happens that we are offered dietary supplements or dietary supplements from everything in the world! What does the abbreviation dietary supplement mean, how to distinguish really useful supplements, who may need them, when and how to use them?

What are dietary supplements?

A biologically active supplement (abbreviated as dietary supplement) or a dietary supplement is a special food product that is consumed in small certain amounts in addition to the usual human diet and is a concentrated source of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, etc. . In English literature, the equivalent of the term dietary supplement is the definition of dietary supplement.

Biologically active additives contain natural or identical to natural substances, occupy an intermediate position between food and drugs and are intended for disease prevention, improving performance and quality of life.

The purpose of using dietary supplements is to correct and supplement the diet, because every day we have to consume processed, canned, refined food, from which we do not get the required amount of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, macro- and microelements. An insufficient amount of these beneficial substances reduces the body's resistance to various diseases, slows down metabolic processes, and a person ages faster. Therefore, dietary supplements can be used even by healthy people.

However, it is a mistake to consider dietary supplements a panacea for all diseases. After all, they do not treat, but only supplement the main treatment and are not included in the register of medicines. Dietary supplements are intended to support the physiological norms and functions of the body, therefore they cannot have miraculous results. Dietary supplements should not be used as the main treatment for diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma, and other complex ailments, but only as an addition to the main therapy on the recommendation of a doctor.

Pay attention to the names of the components if you use several dietary supplements. As part of various dietary supplements, components can be repeated, so that they will enter the body in excess.

Types of dietary supplements

In accordance with the technological process, as a result of which a biologically active additive is obtained, the following are distinguished:

  • concentrates of nutrients of natural origin - bee products, mummy, yeast, algae, caviar and fish liver, mineral spring water, mineral salts;
  • traditional seasonings (spices), herbs and mixtures for making teas, dried fruits, pickles, fermented products;
  • fortified foods and foods enriched with specific states of lactic acid bacteria (kefir and yogurt) in concentration;
  • concentrates of nutrients and plants - extracts, extracts, tinctures, syrups, pastes, briquettes, balms;
  • highly concentrated and pure standardized extracts, artificial and synthetic vitamin preparations, phospholipid, polypeptide and glycoprotein complex preparations, the production of which is close to the pharmacological production of drugs;
  • products obtained using bioengineering.

In accordance with the functional role and influence of biologically active additives, there are:

Nutraceuticals are additional sources of nutrients (nutrients), such as vitamins, essential amino acids.

Parapharmaceuticals - substances that perform adaptogenic functions, provide prevention of pathogenic conditions and are used as a means of adjuvant therapy to regulate the functional activity of organs and systems of the human body within physiological limits. Parapharmaceuticals include bioflavonoids, organic acids, glycosides, biogenic amines, regular oligopeptides, polysaccharides or oligosaccharides.

Eubiotics, probiotics are living microorganisms that are representatives of the normal microflora of the human gastrointestinal tract, most often bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which have a positive effect on human health and immunity.

In the literature, one can find synonymous and other terms used in the topic of health, nutrition, healthy lifestyle and food safety, namely:

  • dietary supplement;
  • biologically active food supplement;
  • functional food product;
  • food products for special dietary consumption or special food products;
  • food supplement

A dietary supplement is a vitamin, vitamin-mineral or herbal supplement (individually and/or in combination) in the form of tablets, tablets, powders that are taken with food or added to food within physiological norms. supplementary use of these substances in comparison with the usual diet; dietary supplements may contain protein, carbohydrates, amino acids, edible oils and extracts of plant and animal materials that are considered necessary or beneficial for human nutrition and general health (Law of Ukraine dated 06.09.2005 No. raw materials").

A dietary supplement is the same as dietary supplements. This term is somewhat outdated, but it is used in the legal plane when registering before the sale.

Functional food product is a food product that contains medicines as a component and/or is proposed for the prevention or mitigation of a human disease. (Law of Ukraine dated 06.09.2005 No. 2809-IV "On the quality and safety of food products and food raw materials").

Food products for special dietary consumption (use) - food products specially processed or designed to meet specific dietary needs that exist due to a specific physical or physiological condition of a person and / or a specific disease or disorder, and marketed as such, including baby food , nutrition for athletes and the elderly (Law of Ukraine dated 06.09.2005 No. 2809-IV "On the quality and safety of food products and food raw materials"). Until 2005, the name special food was used, which was synonymous with food for special dietary consumption.

Food additive - any substance that is usually not considered a food product or its component, but added to a food product for technological purposes in the production process and which as a result becomes an integral part of the product (Law of Ukraine dated 06.09.2005 No. foodstuffs and food raw materials). Food additives are well known to us by their designations, codes, for example E121 or E123.

Standardized Dietary Supplements

Standardized additives have certain declared amounts of active ingredients. The production of additives is carried out at the enterprises of the food, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries. Biologically active additives are subject to mandatory sanitary and epidemiological examination (certification). During the examination, the composition, active ingredients, formulation, product quality and safety indicators, scope, recommendations for use, contraindications, materials for toxic-hygienic and biological assessment are checked.

It is better to buy dietary supplements in a pharmacy - here they have all the necessary documents and are stored in proper conditions.

Biological supplements for women

Dietary Supplements for Younger Women

Women physiologically lose a certain amount of iron every month, which is an important trace element. With a low iron content in a woman's body, a state of anemia (anemia) occurs, which can be detected by a general blood test (ZAK), from a finger. In the case of anemia, all the processes of the body's work are disrupted, since a sufficient amount of oxygen does not enter the cells, which is carried in our body due to the iron molecule in the composition of red blood cells - erythrocytes. Therefore, when identifying signs of iron deficiency for women of younger age, the use of iron supplements is important.

In order for iron to be well absorbed, the presence of vitamin C and the absence of digestive disorders are necessary. By the way, drugs taken to relieve heartburn can interfere with the absorption of iron by the body.

Signs of anemia in women can also be caused by a deficiency (insufficient amount) of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), especially against the background of long-term intestinal disorders. To avoid the development of deficiency conditions, the doctor may prescribe vitamin preparations containing B vitamins, as well as probiotics that normalize the intestinal microflora.

Recently, biotin, the so-called beauty vitamin, has become quite popular. After all, vitamin H (B7, biotin) provides beauty, health and good condition of hair and skin.

Biological supplements for pregnant women

Pregnant women need to eat a lot of vegetables, herbs and fruits. However, to ensure the normal development of the child's nervous system, starting at the stage of pregnancy planning, doctors prescribe the use of folic acid (vitamin B9).

Dietary Supplements for Older Women

In the period preceding menopause, as well as during menopause, in order to reduce unpleasant vegetative-vascular manifestations (“hot flashes”), prescribing drugs containing phytoestrogens is practiced. Phytoestrogens, in their chemical structure similar to estradiol (the most active female sex hormone), can have both an estrogenic effect and, conversely, reduce the concentration and weaken the effect of their own female sex hormones. In general, the results of studies on the effect of phytoestrogens on the body are quite contradictory and require further study. Widespread use of these substances is also known in the composition of cosmetics for older women.

Calcium and vitamin D preparations are recommended for the prevention of osteoporosis (a decrease in bone density and, accordingly, an increase in bone fragility and fragility). Read our article about the prevention of osteoporosis and joint pain.

The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are abundant in fish and seafood. Also known is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) of plant origin, contained, for example, in linseeds and oil. Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids are necessary for good condition, elasticity of the walls of blood vessels, to reduce the chronic inflammatory process, and release anti-inflammatory substances by the body. In case of insufficient consumption of fish products, doctors may recommend supplements with omega-3 fatty acids.

Chondroprotectors (or joint supplements) preferably contain chondroitin sulfate (CS) and glucosaminoglycan (GG), hydrolyzed glycogen. The task of chondroprotectors is to protect the joints, prevent their premature destruction, aging, and maintain the functional mobility of the joints. The components of chondroprotectors - substances of natural origin - are found in cartilage, jelly (boiled collagen forms gelatin), as well as in seafood. Accordingly, for example, the dietary supplement with shark cartilage is of natural origin. Glucosaminoglycan and chondroitin sulfate are nutrients for chondrocytes and a building material for hyaluronic acid, which forms a gel-like structure and is an important “cushioning” component of the intra-articular fluid, as well as, for example, the skin.