Scientists often cast doubts over the likelihood of people truly benefiting from using dietary supplements. However, evidence shows that many people in America are using these products all the same.
It is a fact that people do not always get all the nutrients they require from their diet. For example, while many people know that fruits and vegetables are highly helpful to health, they do not consume enough in most cases. Busy schedules don’t allow many individuals time to prepare healthful meals.
Dietary supplements are marketed to make up for insufficient nutrients from the diet. They also often provide a higher dose of useful compounds than is possible from a regular diet for specific purposes.
The supplement market is a multi-billion dollar industry. It offers a wide variety of products ranging from vitamins to weight loss and anti-aging supplements.
The U.S. is the most lucrative market for supplement makers. In 2018, the market value was put at roughly $35 billion, an increase on the previous year’s figure.
Earlier data in a report by McKinsey & Company put the value of the global market at $82 billion. America accounted for around 28 percent of that figure.
Researchers found in a study that almost 7 in 10 Americans have used dietary supplements.
While the consumption of these products continues to rise, scientists have cast doubt on their efficacy. They also say that the supplements could be harmful.
Some of the most popular supplements are those that promise to aid digestion, weight loss, and better mood.
A look at trends shows that the demand for weight loss supplements, which used to be very high, is currently on a downward slide. Consumers are buying less and less of them.
It is very likely that this kind of product is responsible for the view of doctors that dietary supplements are ineffectual. The majority of those who use the ones for weight loss often end up disappointed, partly because they rely on these products singly.
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More Americans are turning to supplements that promise good health and graceful aging. The anti-aging niche is currently seeing more interest, driven mainly by Baby Boomers who wish to preserve good health for as long as possible.
The anti-aging segment has witnessed huge growth in the past five years and it is still growing.
Caveat on supplement use
Scientists are also concerned about the safety of health supplements. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has actually found that some contain possibly harmful ingredients that are not listed on their labels.
It is possible that some users may use undue amounts of these products. Children may overdose on those having sugary compounds or vitamin D.
Supplements containing caffeine may cause nausea, migraines, anxiety, or even cardiac problems, among other side effects. Also, Ginkgo biloba, a popular constituent of these offerings, may interact with blood thinners.
Some additives in food supplements may produce a laxative effect, which could lead to dehydration, fatigue, and fainting.
Along with those for weight loss, supplements for bodybuilding and sexual enhancement are the leading culprits.
It is expected that regulators will continue to monitor the market more closely in the years ahead for safety reasons.
However, it looks like many Americans will maintain an interest in health supplements in the years ahead despite doubts about their efficacy and safety.