What Are Food Supplements?

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Food supplements such as SNAC nutritions for instance serve to complement or increase the supply of nutrients in the diet. They can be vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. They are nutrients removed from food through industrial processes and can be sold in various forms, such as capsules, powder, and in the form of drinks.

There are several health benefits, depending on the type of supplement, such as: promoting weight loss, optimizing muscle mass gain, improving sports performance, combating and preventing dietary deficiencies, and being used as a complementary therapy for the treatment of various illnesses.  

What Are The Types Of Food Supplements?

There are six categories of food, as shown below:

(1) vitamin and mineral supplements;

(2) bioactive substances and probiotics;

(3) new foods and new ingredients;

(4) foods with claims of functional and health properties;

(5) supplements for athletes; and

(6) food supplements for pregnant and lactating women

How Do I Know If A Food Supplement Is Reliable For My Health?

It is common to think that all supplements here must be registered before marketing, and that alone would give us a guarantee of quality. However, by the new rules, only supplements containing enzymes or probiotics must be registered in this body, so other food supplements are exempt from such requirements. But, calm down, not being registered before marketing does not mean not being regularized; even food supplements without prior registration must deliver the Manufacture or Import Commencement to the competent health surveillance agency.

In addition, the manufacturer or importer must meet the requirements set out in current legislation, and this is where the importance of technical reports for these products comes in. Technical reports are opinions issued by official entities or companies highly specialized in a given area of ​​knowledge, which attest to the maximum quality of a given product or service. They rigorously verify whether a product or service meets specific standards.

So, a good way to know if the product of choice is reliable for your health is to observe the company’s concern to conquer technical reports and verify if science shows proof of the beneficial effects of the supplement in question.

Through Scientific Articles, How To Know If The Food Supplement Has The Benefits?

Note the existence of studies demonstrating the supplement’s effects on biological mechanisms in animal and cell studies. And if you are not from the field, ask experts if the expected effect of the supplement is associated with the biological mechanism for which it has to serve.   

Have a dose-response assessment, which means how much of that nutrient you need to ingest to have the effect, resulting in the recommended dose for consumption.

Assess whether the effect is seen in the public for which the supplement is indicated – populations or subpopulations (e.g., diabetics, hypertensives, elderly, athletes or not, etc.).

Scientific studies that show cause and effect in humans and not just the association of a nutrient deficiency with a particular disease, to prove it, it is necessary to supplement for a specific time and evaluate the effects of supplementation in a large number of people. The effects have to be shown in several studies.

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