Diet nutritional supplements, or dietary supplements, are formulated to provide nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids to individuals who are not consuming the sufficient daily requirements that constitute a well-balanced diet. Technically, dietary supplements also include herbal supplements, which claim to aid in the prevention or treatment of certain conditions and diseases.
Diet nutritional supplements are intended for ingestion in capsule, pill, tablet, liquid, or powder form. They are clearly labeled as “dietary supplements,” and, by law, should not be represented as conventional food. It is not intended for supplanting a proper meal, or be made as a sole item of a diet. In the US, diet nutritional supplements are defined under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 to contain one or more of the following ingredients:
Vitamins are the most common diet nutritional supplements; they are required by the body for essential metabolic reactions. Different vitamins have different uses and can have multiple reactions and functions. There are thirteen human vitamins divided into two groups: the nine water-soluble vitamins (eight B vitamins and vitamin C) and the four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
Minerals can be naturally occurring in food or come in the form of diet nutritional supplements. They are chemical elements that are required by the body to maintain physical health. They can either be trace minerals (required in very small amounts) or bulk minerals (required in larger amounts). Human bulk minerals include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. Human trace minerals include chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. Excessive dietary mineral intake may lead to illness.
3. Amino acids
The body needs 10 of the 20 standard proteinogenic amino acids (and thus called essential amino acids). These include: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, arginine, and histidine. Arginine and histidine are essential only in some cases.
4. Herbs or botanicals
Herbs or botanicals that have not yet been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration are marketed as diet nutritional supplements if they claim to improve health, shape the body, improve immunity, improve vision, improve mental acuity, boost energy, or help prevent diseases.
Very important reminder
Make sure that the diet nutritional supplements you are buying have no additives or fillers such as starch, sugar, silica, gluten, and artificial colors or flavors. It is best to buy only from a GMP-compliant manufacturer that has passed very stringent manufacturing standards.
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