Vitamin D, magnesium, iron, B12, potassium, calcium – almost every trace element is also available as a dietary supplement. You can buy the supplements online, at the drug store, at the supermarket, even at the pharmacy. Shelves are full of them, they promise shiny hair, strong nails, radiant skin, better sleep, more rest, more regular digestion.
Dietary supplements: expensive promises?
Customers often buy the preparations without really asking whether they really need them. Basically, you get all the vitamins and nutrients you need with a healthy and balanced diet. There are only a few exceptions: vegetarians and vegans should consume B12 to meet their daily needs. And pregnant women should also take folic acid, and after consultation with their gynaecologist, possibly iron or iodine.
Many of the dietary supplements work on a water-soluble basis – you can hardly do anything wrong with them, an overdose is almost impossible. Everything that the body does not need is excreted in the urine. This can be annoying at best for the wallet. But there are also vitamins – vitamin D, for example – that are fat-soluble. This means that in the event of an overdose, they are not simply broken down and can therefore actually harm the body instead of helping it. It is therefore advisable not to just throw in food supplements when you suspect it, but to talk to your family doctor.
This time, doctor Natalie Grams-Nobmann will discuss exactly where the problems lie, what consumers should know and whether we really need food supplements Angela Clausen from the consumer advice center NRW.
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