Rethinking Supplement Culture: Necessity or Excess?

dietary supplements english | inglês Feb 27, 2024
Rethinking Supplement Culture

In the world of nutrition and wellness, the emphasis on a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is crucial. While supplements serve as a vital nutrient source for specific groups - such as vegans, pregnant women, those with chronic conditions, or anyone facing nutrient deficiencies - they are not a catch-all solution for everyone. For individuals maintaining a balanced diet, the benefits of supplements remain unproven.

Despite this, the increase in dietary supplement consumption is a global phenomenon. As an example, in the U.S. 74% of adults use dietary supplements, and 92% of these users believe these supplements are essential for their health, as indicated by the 2023 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. Yet, only a fraction of these individuals have been clinically diagnosed with a nutritional deficiency.

This rapidly growing multibillion-dollar industry, however, comes with its risks and is subject to minimal regulation. Supplements can potentially interact with other medications, and the health claims on labels might not always be based on human studies. Moreover, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2015 pointed out that dietary supplements are linked to approximately 23,000 emergency department visits annually in the U.S., many due to cardiovascular complications from weight-loss or energy products.

Complicating matters further is the widespread use of supplements among athletes and fitness aficionados, a trend closely linked with doping concerns.

Interestingly, the primary sources of information for supplement users include personal research, friends, family, exercise professionals, physicians, and nutritionists, underscoring a pressing need for education on this topic, even among healthcare professionals.

Are you interested in expanding your knowledge on this topic?

🔍 Explore our lecture 'Dietary Supplements in Sports: Prevalence, Pitfalls, and Promises.'

This lecture, presented by Dr. Dalia El Khoury, draws upon her research and contributions to the field. 

🇪🇸 Subtítulos disponibles en español.

🇧🇷 Legendas disponíveis em português.