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Experts advise: This is the only way that dietary supplements make sense

Experts advise: This is the only way that dietary supplements make sense


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Many vitamin pills are pointless - some are even harmful to health

Vitamin tablets, mineral capsules and other nutritional supplements are booming. Around every third German citizen uses the preparations. Most consumers believe that they are doing something good for their health - but in many cases this is not the case. As part of the International Green Week, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) provides information on the benefits and health risks of dietary supplements.

"Many products promise positive effects for health, well-being and performance - but taking them can also be associated with health risks," explains BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel in a press release. In most cases, a balanced and varied diet remains the better alternative. However, there are also situations in which it may make sense to take such preparations.

Dietary supplements are not medication

The BfR would like consumers to be more sensitive to food supplements. To this end, the Federal Institute provides information about possible risks. Many people are not aware that food supplements are classified as food in Germany. In contrast to medicinal products, they do not have to go through extensive testing and approval procedures. The manufacturer is therefore primarily responsible for the safety of the products. The quality of the products can fluctuate greatly. Products sold on the Internet in particular sometimes do not comply with German and European food regulations. The BfR advises that the products and the provider be carefully checked for seriousness before buying.

Supplementary preparations are usually superfluous

"In most cases, taking supplements is unnecessary," emphasize the BfR experts. A balanced and varied diet provides a healthy body with everything it needs. In certain situations, however, there are preparations that make sense.

Dietary supplements can be useful for these people

For example, it is advantageous for women who want to have children and in the first weeks of pregnancy to take additional folic acid. This reduces the risk of a neural tube defect (open back) in the newborn. According to the BfR, people who eat a purely plant-based diet can benefit from taking vitamin B12, as vegetarian and vegan diets often lead to an undersupply. BfR recommends taking vitamin D for people who are not guaranteed natural nutrition through nutrition and the body's own formation through exposure to the sun (see vitamin D deficiency). (vb)

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