Look Before You Leap
Friends and family may recommend, or even strongly advise you, to take something they heard worked. Maybe they have been taking it themselves and experienced some benefits. Even though their intentions are good and it is done out of love and care, be extremely cautious.
Once again, don't just buy and take it, without proper information. And if you are not sure, ask your doctor. There is nothing easier then to make a phone call to ensure your health!
Here are some other guidelines to help you determine whether you should supplement:
"Whether that register is in a drug store, discount chain, grocery store or health food store is not as important as whether the brand is trustworthy and the product has been studied. A handful of private organizations are in the business of keeping tabs on supplements, each offering a variation on a certificate or seal for supplements it deems consumer-worthy. The three main companies cornering the certification market are ConsumerLab.com, NSF International and United States Pharmacopeia (USP). All three test supplements to determine, among other things, if what's in the bottle sizes up to the label'’s ingredient list. Look for a blue and yellow United States Pharmacopeia (USP) seal or a symbol from NSF or Consumer Lab.com.
Because you are your own best health advocate, make sure you answer these questions before you swallow anything.
- What are the claims made about the supplement? Are they realistic?
- Why might this supplement be worth taking? What effects is it supposed to have?
- Are there unbiased studies or history of use to show it's safe? Will the manufacturer provide a copy of studies for you to review with your doctor?
- What are side effects you might experience?
- How much should you take?
- What time - and how many times per day - should you take it?
- Will it interact with other medications you are taking?
- Will it interact with other supplements you are taking?
- Will it interfere with other medical conditions you have?
- How long should you take it?
- How long before you see results?
- Is it worth the price?
- Is the brand reputable?
If, after answering these questions, you decide a supplement is worth a try, follow this advice to achieve the best results and help ensure your safety:
- Let your doctor know the supplements you are taking.
- Know that some supplement can affect the outcome of medical tests.
- Try one new supplement (single active ingredient) at a time, and keep a record of its effects. Note the brand name and the dose.
- Don't take more than the recommended amount. You can overdose on anything, no matter how "safe" it appears to be.
- Keep a list of all of the supplements you are taking, along with your other medications. Don't stop taking your prescription medications, unless your doctor tells you to.
- Call your doctor if you have any unusual symptoms or feel worse after using a supplement. Be sure to keep the container the supplement came in."
Let me put it this way: you don't get a knife and cut your own arm off, just because you are told or promised, it will improve your health. I have no doubt your eyes would pop open wide in disbelief and you would ask a lot of questions, before even considering doing what was suggested.
Why? Maybe because cutting off your own arm inflicts pain and has a damaging effect on you right away?
Okay, okay, I have gotten on to y'all enough about being careful when it comes to supplements and vitamins. I do hope though, it did instill the desire to make inquiries before swallowing anything that is handy, recommended, or presented to you.
Ignorance is not a bliss, it can be very harmful. Gathering up information can only make you more knowledgeable and add to your wisdom. Do not take for granted, whatever you are told by men, is always true. The only true words are God's. We don't have to question or doubt them, just accept and follow them. They are only for our best. :-)
let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-