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Supplements are - as the name suggests - products, which supplement the regular diet. These products are offering in the form of tablets, capsules, powders, liquids, and - lately - plasters. The products contain nutrients, such as vitamins or minerals. You can find them in regular foods but in much lower concentrations. The synthetic food supplements, on the other hand, score points for their high dosage of active ingredients. A dietary supplement might contain herbal substances, such as St. John's wort and garlic, but also animal substances such as fish oil.
Dietary supplements are freely available, not just in pharmacies. Some Supplements also offered in the context of (alternative) medical treatments. They are not allowed by law to have the same effect as drugs, for example, to lower blood pressure or blood sugar levels. If a product had such a result, it would have to approve as a drug.
Food supplements can contain the following substances, for example:
- Vitamins and Provitamins - These include vitamins C and E, folic acid, and Beta Carotene.
- Minerals and trace elements, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc
- Vitamin-like substances, such as coenzyme Q10
- Fatty acids, such as omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids
- Protein components, such as L-cysteine, L-carnitine
- Carbohydrates, such as the fiber oligofructose
- Other ingredients, such as brewer's yeast, algae, probiotic cultures
Through these supplements, the body may absorb many more nutrients than is possible with a regular diet. Unfortunately, such overdoses are still possible, as the legislator has not set any legally binding maximum amounts.
A food supplement must label as such. The label must contain the following information:
- Declaration of identity ( The general) name of the element
- brand message
- indication of the net quantity of ingredients
- nutrition labeling
- list of ingredients
- the name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor