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What are supplements?

Dietary supplements are – as the name implies – products supposed to be taken in addition to your normal diet. They are available as tablets, powders or liquids, for example. They have substances in them that are also found in things you can eat, like vitamins or minerals, but in a higher concentration and often at a high dose.

Do you need to take dietary supplements to stay healthy?

Someone eating a balanced diet chosen from a range of different foods will usually get all of the nutrients their body needs. You usually do not need to take extra vitamins or minerals. It may make sense to take dietary supplements on a temporary basis with the specific aim of righting a vitamin or mineral deficiency, for example.

It has been proven, however, that dietary supplements will have no effect on some illnesses. Some studies, for example, have shown that – contrary to popular belief – taking vitamin C cannot prevent a cold. Vitamin supplements do not help to prevent cancer or cardiovascular disease either.