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Home :: Nutritional Food Supplements

Nutritional Food Supplements

Natural nutritonal food supplements include a wide variety of products. Almost all health food stores carry them, and a number of drug stores and supermarkets stock them on their shelves as well. In general, natural food supplements are composed of, derived from, or by products of foods that provide health benefits. In some cases, health benefit claims made by manufacturers are based upon a supplement's use in traditional healing; in other cases, they are based on modern scientific research.

Food supplements can be high in certain nutrients, contain active ingredients that aid digestive or metabolic processes, or provide a combination of nutrients and active ingredients. It is important to point out that some unscrupulous manufacturers make false promises. It is therefore vital to be an informed consumer. It is also necessary to be aware that many conservative "watchdog" organizations point to these few unsubstantiated products and label the whole industry as unreliable. This occurs in spite of the fact that many natural food supplements have been known to work for years; these products are medically endorsed only when they are "discovered" by researchers deemed acceptable by these groups. Such recent discoveries include garlic, aloe vera, fiber, and fish oils-substances that have been used for centuries in many parts of the world.

Forms of Supplements

Food supplements come in many shapes and forms­tablets, capsules, powders, liquids, jellies, creams, biscuits, wafers, granules, and more. Product packaging depends entirely on the nature of the food supplement's composi­tion. The potency of these products varies. Because they are made up of perishable foods, food derivatives, or food by products, their potency may be affected by the length of time they sit on a shelf or by the temperature at which they are kept.

If you have never used a natural food supplement, you may be uncomfortable about buying and using one for the first time. This is normal. Keep in mind that once you become familiar with its use and benefits, you won't give the idea of using it a second thought.

In this section, we describe some of the types of nutritonal food supplements that are recommended for use in dealing various disorders.

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