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HomeFOOD & DIET8 Times When Vitamins and Supplements May Be Good Self-Care |

8 Times When Vitamins and Supplements May Be Good Self-Care |


It’s no wonder that health food stores and supermarkets feature dietary supplements so prominently. In an analysis of data collected between 2017 and 2020, more than half of American adults age 20 and older acknowledged using dietary supplements in the previous 30 days, according to a 2023 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But considering the immense popularity of supplements, you might be surprised to learn that, in many cases, registered dietitians and other nutrition pros don’t recommend their use for general health and illness prevention. Indeed, a 2018 position paper by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on the subject states that “the routine and indiscriminate use of micronutrient supplements for the prevention of chronic disease is not recommended, given the lack of available scientific evidence.” Often, generally healthy people can get all the micronutrients they need from food.

Still, there are times when diet alone simply doesn’t supply therapeutic doses of specific vitamins and minerals certain people need. Some supplements may contain ingredients that aren’t commonly found in foods, and health conditions may mean your vitamin and mineral needs are higher than usual. While supplements may not be the answer to every health woe, they may have a beneficial role to play in your self-care health routine.

Be sure to check with your doctor before you start any supplement or make any major dietary change. Remember, too, that because supplements are not fully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s wise to do your own homework before you buy. Look for products with third-party quality testing, and refer to the FDA’s Dietary Supplement Ingredient Directory to find out whether the agency has issued any statements about a supplement’s ingredients, health claims, or safety.




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