For many of us, they are on the shelf: vitamin supplements, L-carnitine tablets, protein powder.
For many athletes, the protein shake after exercise is simply part of it. But not only athletes resort to dietary supplements. In many kitchens, vitamin tablets or omega-3 capsules are just as much an inventory as rice and bread. According to the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, about half of the Swiss population uses the colorful tablets and dragons to stay fit and healthy.
These nutrients are important to the body, no doubt. Vitamin B12, which is found mainly in animal products such as meat or milk, is important for the cardiovascular system. Omega-3 fatty acids are important and cannot be produced by the body. And even folic acid cannot be produced by the body. Particularly pregnant women need vitamin – a lack of pregnancy can cause harm to the baby.
Stéphanie Bieler of the Swiss Society for Nutrition confirms this: "During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the need for many vitamins and minerals is increased. A supplement may be useful in this situation. In particular, this is best discussed with the attending physician. Pregnancy can be corrected for disease
Supplements promise a lot. They should make beautiful, slimmer, healthier and better. The fact is: A healthy In addition to folic acid in pregnant women, he still needs iodine and vitamin D. But in some diseases it is meaningful to provide additional nutrients, for example, in COPD, obesity or cancer
In addition, the preparations cannot compensate for an unbalanced diet, and as the name suggests, they are "supplements" and does not replace the natural supply of nutrients.
As you age, your body's ability to absorb vitamins and minerals decreases. And the skin's ability to absorb vitamin D via sunlight also decreases. Studies show that about 60 percent of older Swiss people have a nutritional deficiency such as iron or zinc. Stéphanie Bieler comments: "Older older adults over the age of 60 belong to a risk group for vitamin D deficiency. Supplementing with this vitamin may be useful in this age group. However, in a very specific case, this is discussed with a medical specialist."
The situation is a bit tricky, especially for the elderly. Often they are less hungry than boys. To make matters worse, the nutrient uptake through the intestine does not work well. Here, supplements can help to compensate for these deficiencies.
The human body needs vitamin C, no doubt. Ascorbic acid performs many important tasks in our organism. But is it also suitable as a panacea for colds, stress or even cancer that something claims?
Numerous studies have been performed on dietary supplements. The Cochrane Foundation has studied 78 of them and concluded that no health benefits could be demonstrated by taking such supplements – provided the person is healthy.
Instead, the researchers concluded that some of the high-dose supplements were more likely to be harmful. But even that could not be proven 100 percent. However, the studies suggest that dietary supplements containing high-dose vitamins A, E and beta-carotene can be hazardous to health. "For different vitamins and minerals, there is also an upper limit, from which negative effects can dominate. So it is by no means that you can simply say:" It is very useful, "explains Stéphanie Bieler.
A balanced , varied diet according to the Swiss food pyramid with only a few exceptions usually ensures sufficient nutrition Supply of nutrients.