Food Supplements

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Our everyday diet should provide us with all the necessary nutrients in the proper quantities. However, it is often challenging to reach this goal. We do not know the details about the composition of food products and there is also an issue of adsorption in the digestive system. Thus, from time to time we hear about the deficiency of certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other valuable compounds. To solve this problem, you can use various additives. Let’s learn their main components, their roles in the body, and how to choose the best option for individual needs.

Why People Take Supplements?

Food supplements vary in composition. Usually, one can find separate amino acids or their mixtures, blends of vitamins and minerals and other small biologically active molecules. There are three main reasons to use them:

  • to provide the body with essential nutrients when their concentration is low;
  • to maintain overall health and prevent deficiency;
  • to boost the body toward higher activity and results (this is often true for athletes).

According to the reason, the supplement is chosen. They vary in composition and quantity of ingredients, so one needs to decide what exactly he or she requires from this remedy,


Our bodies require macro- and microelements for various processes. Some of them are part of complex proteins and others are required for the work of enzymes or the synthesis of hormones. The required daily intake may be quite tiny, but the deficiency is always rather obvious and sometimes is even dangerous.


The need for calcium varies from 1000 to 1300 mg depending on the age and sex of a person. It is present in dairy products, beans and leafy green vegetables. In the body, this macroelement comprises bones and teeth, carries messages through the body and maintains muscular activity.


Iron is one of the crucial microelements for us. It is an essential part of the hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through the body in the red blood cells. Every day we need approximately 10 mg of it. The required amount for women before menopause is higher due to the regular blood loss during menses.


The need for this mineral varies from 15 to 30 mg daily. It serves as an important part of many enzymes and is also required for the synthesis of hormones, mainly testosterone. That is why many supplements for men contain zinc and the drop in its levels is associated with the development of erectile dysfunction.


This element is quite versatile and the body needs nearly 400 mg of it every day. This is because magnesium takes part in nerve and muscle functioning, the work of the immune system and the brain, blood pressure regulation, etc.

Minerals in food

All food products contain some minerals. The question is which exactly and in what concentrations? Usually, we get most of the required minerals from fish and meat, dairy products, bread, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

Still, in case of a deficiency, it’s better to improve the situation with the help of a supplement that contains a higher concentration and provides fuller absorption compared to food.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are well-known building blocks of our bodies, as all proteins are built up from them. Therefore, we require them every day in sufficient quantities. They are utilized in all inner processes and determine our overall health.

Essential vs nonessential

There are 20 main compounds in this group and 9 of them are essential, which means our body cannot create it inside. This list includes histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.

These amino acids should definitely come with food. That is the reason why we need proper protein sources. This can be not only meat and fish or other products of animal origin, so everyone is able to comprise a healthy diet and avoid deficiency.


Branched-chain amino acids (isoleucine, leucine and valine) enhance muscle growth, reduce fatigue and support liver health. They all belong to the essential group. Food proteins contain up to 25% of these compounds in their structure.

The daily normal intake is considered 91 mg per pound or 200 mg per kg of body weight. This value should be taken into account for those who select supplements.


This essential amino acid is also needed for the performance and growth of muscles. It participates in the transportation of fats between the cells. In addition, it is able to reduce anxiety and depression, improve the absorption of calcium from food products and stimulate the synthesis of collagen in the body. Therefore, the healing of wounds proceeds faster and the body becomes stronger due to this compound.


Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid but it is required not only for the synthesis of proteins but also for numerous metabolic processes and chemical reactions that proceed inside the body. It helps to regulate acid-base balance, synthesize fats and produce energy. That is why it is also valued by athletes and is often used as a part of various supplements.

Amino acids in food

Foods rich in these molecules include legumes and beans, nuts and seeds, fish, dairy products, soy, mushrooms, eggs and meat. Of course, meat and fish contain the highest concentrations but we should consider other components that may be harmful.

Thus, red meat is not the best source of protein due to high cholesterol levels. The same can be said about high-fat dairy products. That is why it’s important to take into account the whole composition and then select a product for an everyday diet.

Food Supplements Benefits

What advantages are associated with these products? The following are the most distinguishable:

  • they contain the required concentrations of valuable nutrients and help one to make sure of their presence in the body;
  • they support wellness and overall health and prevent certain diseases associated with lack of nutrients;
  • they enhance physical performance and contribute to faster recovery that is important for athletes.

Therefore, together with supplements, one can stay healthy, active, and aware of the presence of necessary concentrations of valuable nutrients in the body. Moreover, supplements do not contain any harmful compounds and are not associated with certain risks, which is possible for foods.

Choosing Quality Supplements

Due to the wide variety of supplements, it’s crucial to select a reliable manufacturer and check the quality of the product. It requires some time and patience but then you’ll know what you use and how it’ll influence your body.


While purchasing the supplement, verify the following:

  • the basic information about the manufacturer and the quality control he provides;
  • the license for the manufacturing process and certificates of quality for the products;
  • whether or not scientific investigations have proven the effect of the supplement.

In addition, one may search for third-party verification and learn more about the experience of other customers on the specialized forums.


Supplements come in different dosage forms including tablets, capsules, powers, etc. This does not influence their efficiency. So, the choice depends only on your preferences and the most convenient way for the intake.


After the purchase, check the storage conditions that should be applied to the supplement. In most cases, they require a cool and dry location without the direct influence of the sun. Follow these recommendations to get maximum efficiency during the period of the intake.


In a nutshell, supplements are helpers for anyone who wishes to stay healthy and enhance the activity of the body. Follow your main aim, while choosing the product and always check its quality. Reliable manufacturers provide high-quality compositions that give numerous health benefits without any side effects.


Who should not take amino acid supplements?

These products are not recommended for children, women during pregnancy and lactation and elderly people. In addition, people with alcohol addiction and after surgeries may experience side effects.

Should you take amino acid supplements with food?

No, one should take them a few hours before or after meals to achieve the fullest absorption and effect.

Is there a benefit to taking amino acid supplements?

Yes, they help to increase lean muscular mass, strength and recovery and positively influence mood and cognitive functions.

Is it safe to take amino acids everyday?

If one follows the recommended dosage and does not abuse it, then everyday intake is not harmful.

Are now foods supplements third party tested?

This depends on the manufacturer, so not all of them apply such verification.