Dietary Supplements 101

by Melissa Chichester

From fish oil to folic acid, colorful bottles of dietary supplements line the shelves virtually and in person.

Dietary supplements can be a useful addition to a healthy lifestyle and offer many benefits.*

To decide if dietary supplements are a smart choice for you, read on to learn more about what they are, what to watch out for, and safe supplement use. 

What are dietary supplements? 

Dietary supplements are products designed to nutritionally complement your diet and wellness routine.* Supplements come in many forms such as softgels, powders, gummies, liquid extracts and tinctures, tablets, capsules, effervescent tablets, and more. 

Dietary supplements can help you improve or maintain your overall health, and can also help you meet your daily requirements of essential nutrients. Common supplements include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, botanicals, and probiotics. 

Examples of these include:

  • Magnesium for nerve support*
  • Co Q-10 for heart health support*
  • Vitamin D for bone health*
  • Vitamin C for immune health*
  • Multivitamins for overall wellness support*

>>What Are Botanical Supplements?

Why are dietary supplements beneficial?

Dietary supplements can help you maintain your well-being and receive essential nutrients you may not receive enough of.* For example, many people do not eat fish or seafood and may not receive omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements can help you receive more fatty acids.

What are the risks of dietary supplements? 

Health and wellness are personal and unique to you. Before taking any dietary supplement, talk to your trusted physician. They can help you decide if supplements are right for you based on your personal history. 

Risks may occur when:

  • You combine multiple supplements
  • Supplements interfere with medicines
  • You take too many of some supplements
  • You replace medications with supplements  

How do I know I can trust a supplement brand? 

Today’s market has many options when it comes to supplements. It’s easy to be persuaded by compelling marketing – so what sets one company out from the rest?  Puritan’s Pride has been trusted by families since 1973 – and still provides customers with quality vitamins, caring service, and value pricing.

Here are some tips to safely use supplements from any brand: 

  • Take as described on the label, unless directed otherwise by your physician
  • If it says “organic” on the principal display panel, look for the USDA logo
  • Avoid media hype or hearsay and conduct research 
  • Avoid false claims – especially “miracle cures”
  • Read the brand’s “About” page and learn about their brand history
  • Ask about manufacturing practices 

Where can I find information about supplements? 

A great place to find more information about dietary supplements is the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. They provide Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets available in English and Spanish about hundreds of supplements, their uses, and potential risks. You can also ask brands directly if you need more information.