In society, there has been a fundamental split. For one half of Russians, this three-letter word sounds, if not as a curse, then as a mockery of it for sure.
Dietary supplements in their head are associated with uniform cheating and meaningless tearing in their wallets. The second half sees in additions deliverance from all earthly sufferings, starting with balding and ending with aging.
Only the truth in this case is not in the middle.
Conduct an impromptu survey among friends or colleagues, and you will understand that dietary supplements for many average people are terra incognita. Although most doctors also do not pass the exam. From total ignorance in the tops and bottoms, and it turned out the Gordian knot, which the officials took to chop.
Some time ago, our government ordered to shed an enlightenment beam on fertile minds and launch a large-scale educational program. At the same time, not only ordinary people, but also the doctors themselves will be teaching the rules of healthy eating.
In the meantime, and still there, we will form ourselves.
Among the ardent supporters of dietary supplements, too, there is no unanimity. Many people confuse them with food additives, which is not necessary.
Food additives are substances that are specifically introduced into food products at the stage of their manufacture – either to impart the desired appearance, taste, color and texture, or to increase shelf life. These include thickeners, preservatives, acidity regulators, stabilizers, and so on.
Others take dietary supplements for medication.
Dietary fiber has a positive effect on the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates in the body. Their daily rate is 20 grams, and the Russians receive an average of half.
There are several reasons: we bake bread from refined flour, almost completely devoid of dietary fiber; we are accustomed to digest pasta, and refuse from rice and cereals so as not to gain weight. You can fill the shortage with the help of dietary supplements, but it is better not to do this on an ongoing basis: it is wiser to eat right, because this deficiency can be easily filled with food (cereals, wholemeal bread, vegetables and fruits).
The main differences between them – the dose of active substances. In dietary supplements allowed only very low concentrations of active ingredients. Drugs in doses higher, so they have healing properties and therefore they are prescribed to sick people.
But why then were dietary supplements invented? In fact, they are included in the food group along with kefir, meat, fish and everything else that we call food, and being treated with them is like treating semolina.
Dietary supplements help us fill the deficiency of nutrients resulting from malnutrition. They are prescribed not as medicine and not instead of medicine, but as an additive to the usual diet.
That is why each package of an BAA registered and legally permitted in Russia has the inscription: “It is not a medicine”, although this reservation may be hidden on the outskirts of the instructions for use or printed in small print. For the same reason, no one checks the effectiveness of dietary supplements. A manufacturer may voluntarily conduct clinical studies, but no one will force him.
Yes, and consumers should not be important, because to check the healing potential of a piece of boiled beef, no one comes to mind. Nevertheless, nutritionists still provide some guarantees. If you think that no data on the effectiveness of dietary supplements does not exist, then it is not.
A huge array of scientific studies confirms: the use of individual biologically active substances in the composition of food products or biologically active food additives has an indisputable and beneficial effect on the body.
Unlike plants, man is not able to synthesize useful substances from air and soil, but with food we can get a complete set of them. And if the menu of the average consumer in spite of the dominance of fast food and convenience foods satisfies the need for the main components of food (proteins, fats and carbohydrates), then a critical weight is observed on the part of biologically active elements.
A deficiency of vitamins or minerals does not threaten us with a sudden outcome, but it causes significant damage. The hours of this bomb are slow and silent.
Micro- and macronutrients are involved in chemical reactions that occur in the cells every second. They are responsible for the production of hormones, digestive enzymes and other vital substances. If we lack some kind of mineral or vitamin, certain chemical reactions begin to proceed more slowly, and as a result the metabolism is disturbed.
This, already large, breakdown can lead to diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis and other diseases, in the development of which one of the decisive roles is played by improper diet. Enough of such a vivid example. In many regions of Russia, iodine deficiency is observed, due to which the synthesis of thyroid hormones is disturbed.
If you fold your arms, sooner or later the metabolism will break down, extra pounds will be gained, blood pressure will drop, attention and memory will deteriorate, and in children (in severe cases) irreversible mental disorder may begin – cretinism.
Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oil, flaxseed, pumpkin, soybean, and corn oil. Due to the fact that Russians traditionally prefer sunflower oil, where omega-3 is not present, there is a shortage. The recommended daily intake per day is 1 gram.
Take omega-3 is better in capsules; in liquid form (fish oil, linseed oil), they quickly oxidize. The most active are the acids that are in finished form in fatty marine fish: they act immediately.
Of course, the development of a disease is a whole complex of causes, and the deficiency of vitamins and minerals is only one link in the vicious chain, but sometimes the cornerstone. Impaired metabolism inhibits tissue regeneration, therefore, due to the lack of certain biologically active components, recovery is slower. Western doctors are well aware of this relationship.
Before prescribing medication to a patient, they study his “nutritional status” and eliminate the deficiency of certain substances, prescribing a special or even an individual mineral-vitamin complex. If this is not done, the recovery period will either be delayed or it will be defective.
In the latter case, the disease risks becoming chronic.
However, healthy supplements are needed not only for sick people. Considering the inferiority of modern products, in the “nutritional status” of healthy lucky people, gaps are made very quickly.
The task of dietary supplements is just to patch them.
Statistics of the Russian Research Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences states that there is a shortage of most vitamins and minerals in all public strata. Eating right today is already impossible. Two side effects of technical progress hinder us.
The energy requirement of homo sapiens has decreased by half in the last hundred years. Our ancestors required 3500−4000 calories per day, and we need 1500−2000−2500, because once again we do not even move a finger, not to mention other parts of the body. However, by consuming less food, we automatically get less vitamins and minerals.
In this case, as always, it is not only the quantity that is important.
Modern products content of nutrients significantly poorer. This is not a commercial invention, but an objective reality that has long been in our eyes. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, for 30 years (from the 1960s to the 1990s), the content of trace elements in fruits and vegetables decreased in some positions by 30–35%.
The main reason is soil depletion. To feed the fast-breeding population of the planet, farmers are forced to exploit arable land in the black and with one piece of land to take several harvests a year. Without prodah, the land does not have time to recover, and yields are noticeably losing in quality every year.
Industrial technologies also hit the sore spot: some substances designed to stretch the shelf life of products to indecency, slow down the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Take at least refined vegetable oil. To prolong his life, manufacturers completely remove vitamin E, for which this product is valued first.
All dietary supplements are divided into three classes: nutraceuticals, eubiotics and parapharmaceuticals. Nutraceuticals are the traditional components of food: amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, vitamins and minerals.
Eubiotics are representatives of the normal intestinal microflora (probiotics: bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and other beneficial bacteria) or those substances that promote their growth (prebiotics: lactulose, inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides). Parapharmaceuticals are substances that are able to debug the functions of the internal organs; most often plant extracts or their active components (for example, bioflavonoids).
These substances are necessary for the normal functioning of the intestines, a full exchange of vitamins of group B and reducing the risk of allergies. However, their benefits also depend on the form of filing. If eubiotics enter the body in liquid form (for example, with yogurt, where their concentration is initially low), units reach the destination.
Before reaching the intestines, they must pass through the stomach, where there is hydrochloric acid, and then through the duodenum, where there are also aggressive acids. If you take eubiotics as part of dietary supplements (or drugs), the chances increase: bacteria are enclosed in special capsules that are able to withstand such a powerful attack.
Dietary supplements can contain only natural ingredients that are part of natural products, or their synthesized counterparts, but only if they are no different in chemical structure from the natural original. The difference between them is not significant. For example, group B vitamins are cheaper to synthesize, while the output is a substance that is completely identical in its properties to natural vitamin B. But sometimes the result leaves much to be desired.
So, natural vitamin E is a complex of 8 compounds. In the synthesized version of them there is only one, and the most useless. However, regardless of origin, the components of legal dietary supplements for humans are safe.
On the label, the nature of the active components is not always indicated or is described by complex terms that are understood only by initiates.
Contrary to popular belief, relatively dietary supplements in Russia are quite tough legislation. Firstly, there is the Federal Law on the quality and safety of food products, which has a section on biologically active additives.
Secondly, Sanitary rules and norms (in the language of specialists – SanPins), regulating all aspects of their production, transportation, storage and circulation, work. These documents also spelled out a ban on remote sales of dietary supplements.
This means that when you buy supplements online or by ordering them by phone, you are dealing with fraudsters. You need to purchase them only in pharmacies, specialty stores and relevant departments of supermarkets.
Special control is carried out and the quality of dietary supplements. Our supplements are checked not only for microbiological, radiological and toxicological safety, but also for the concentration of active substances.
The dose, measured for dietary supplements, should not exceed the norms that correspond to the physiological needs of the human body. If we compare domestic practice with foreign practice, then in addition, which are sold on the territory of Russia, the maximum permitted content of active substances is several times lower than in Europe and the USA. Such a weak concentration is completely harmless for patients and healthy, and for adults and children.
Politically correct Russian experts suggest that such low (if not minimal) thresholds are designed to protect Russians from overdose. The true reason most likely lies in the Russian Avos and boundless faith in miracles that push many citizens who have crossed the threshold of the pharmacy to the most rash purchases.
Domestic nutritionists say: dietary supplements are necessary for everyone, moreover, without exception. Today, both young and old need nutraceuticals.
Vitamin-mineral complexes can be taken on an ongoing basis, taking a break for the summer months. In the warm season, they are replaced by seasonal fruits and vegetables, in addition, under the influence of sunlight, vitamin D is activated, due to which some elements are better absorbed.
Almost everyone needs eubiotics: 90% of Russians suffer from dysbiosis. Broken microflora prevents the absorption of not only nutrients, but also drugs.
It often happens that after restoring the balance of good bacteria many diseases, including allergies, subside. Parapharmaceutics is a special article, they should be taken strictly according to the purpose and under the supervision of a physician.
By the way, folk remedies like Altai mumiye and royal jelly often belong to this group, if they are, of course, registered as dietary supplements.
In order to avoid surprises, which are still possible even despite harmless, physiological doses, you do not need to drink dietary supplements at their own will. There are many subtleties in this area, so expert advice is desirable.
To find out what vitamins you lack, you must pass a biochemical blood test and conduct a chemical study of hair or nails. Sometimes, especially in the presence of health problems, it makes sense to undergo an ultrasound to assess the condition of internal organs.
Theoretically, any doctor can prescribe a supplement to food, but in practice it is more often done by general practitioners and nutritionists. Sick people should be prescribed dietary supplements only by a doctor: depending on the disease, the need for certain substances may either increase or, conversely, decrease.
In addition, a number of dietary supplements is incompatible with certain medications.