Dietary Supplements: What Special Information You Need to Know

Dietary supplementsDietary Supplements Definition

It is important for any person to get enough nutrients on a daily basis. Nutrients are known to provide one with the energy to help them complete their daily tasks, help in repairing their body tissues, building of body muscles, maintaining a  good body weight and preventing infection. There is no clear dietary supplements definition. However the main function of these dietary supplements is well defined. Some of the main dietary supplement examples include calories, minerals, vitamins and proteins. It is important that your body gets all of these nutrients on a daily basis.

Majority of people are known to get nutrients by feeding on a variety of meals on a daily basis. However, in case you are suffering from kidney failure or kidney disease, you will have to limit some of the foods that offer you with enough nutrients for your good health. Kidney failure and kidney disease are capable of changing the manner in which your body processes certain nutrients, hence the supplements can help in ensuring that you receive all the nutrients that you are in need of. Several supplements are available although there are some which are made for individuals suffering from kidney disease, kidney failure or diabetes.

It is advisable that you always consult your healthcare provider before using any supplements since there are some which can be very harmful especially to individuals suffering from kidney disease or kidney failure. Below is some of the important information you will need when using dietary supplements.

Dietary Supplement Label

All the products which are labeled dietary supplement are known to carry supplement facts panel that lists all the amount of ingredients per serving, contents and other ingredients such as flavorings, binders and fillers. Manufacturer will recommend the serving size although your health provider or you can decide on a different amount which is more appropriate for you.


If you fail to feed on nutritious foods although there are certain supplements which might help you get the right nutrients. Supplements are capable of being used in place of a variety of foods that are essential for a healthy diet.

According to some scientific evidence, there are certain dietary supplements which are known to be beneficial for the entire health and for managing of some health conditions. For example, calcium and vitamin D are known to help in keeping the bones stronger and help in reducing loss of bone. There is also folic acid that helps in reducing the risk of getting birth defects. There is also Omega 3 fatty acids from fish which helps people in fighting heart disease.

Risk and Safety

There are several supplements that are known to contain active ingredients which can have stronger effects in the human body. It is important that you always be alert on any possibility of experiencing unexpected side effects especially when you are using new products. Certain supplements can cause side effects or even harm an individual when they are not used as prescribed or when used together with other supplements. There are some which can increase bleeding or when taken before or after surgery, they can always affect an individual’s response to anesthesia.

Dietary supplements are capable of interacting with different types of prescription drugs in different ways some of which can cause problems. You need to keep in mind that some of the ingredients that are found in the dietary supplements will be added to the increasing number of foods consisting of breakfast cereals and beverages.

You might be getting more of the ingredients than you think which might not be good for you. Taking more than you require can at times be more expensive and can increase your chances of experiencing side effects. For instance, taking in more vitamin A can easily cause headaches and even damage to the liver, can cause birth defects or even reduce bone strength. Taking iron in excess can easily cause vomiting and nausea which can damage the liver together with other body organs. It is important that you be very cautious when taking dietary supplements especially if pregnant or nursing any form of injury. You also need to be very cautious when giving dietary supplements to children since most of these supplements have not undergone thorough testing for safety in children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.


Dietary supplements are regarded as complex products. According to the FDA, there are better manufacturing practices for dietary supplements that will help in ensuring their strength, composition, identity and purity. These good manufacturing practices are specifically designed to help prevent inclusion of the wrong ingredient, addition or too much or less of an ingredient, contamination possibility and improper labeling and packaging of the product.

There are several independent organizations which are known to offer quality testing that allows products that pass these tests to show their seals for approval. The approval seals will provide assurance that the product was well manufactured and does not contain any harmful levels of contaminants. The approval seals never guarantee that a product is effective or safe.

Supplements are capable of spanning a wide spectrum

The supplement industry is known to be a multi-million dollar business. Supplements are available in a wide range of products. There are some which are always available over the counter while others will always require prescription. There are some which have a lot of calories and proteins especially the ones that help you in gaining weight. There are weight loss supplements and body building supplements. Supplements can either be for single nutrients such as iron or vitamin D or can be for multiple nutrients.

 Head Caution

It is important that you first talk with your healthcare provider before you take any nutritional supplements even when you do not have a kidney disease. This will help you in finding the ones that might be the best for you. Dietary supplement regulation is not done by the FDA hence; many products can be dangerous especially for individuals who are suffering from kidney disease.  People with kidney disease should never use supplements for body building, weight loss or energy boost.  There are times when you might hear a family member or a friend claiming an herbal supplement has improved their well being or health. Although this can be good for them, it can be harmful for you.


Supplements do come in a variety of sizes, shapes, flavors and forms. People are known to be familiar with liquid supplements which come in the form of special drinks, juices or shakes that contain calories, protein, minerals and vitamins. There are certain liquid supplements which are specifically meant for individual’s suffering from kidney diseases. However, it is recommended that one first checks with their healthcare provider before using them especially when on fluid restriction. There are cookies, bars, puddings and other types of foods which can also be used instead of liquid supplements.

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