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Trends come and go, but as it seems that the trend of using dietary supplements to strengthen the body and preventing and treating of various diseases are here to stay. Drugstore shelves are filled with dietary supplements, and international surveys in recent years indicate that this increase is consistent, as the awareness and knowledge of the public regarding the activity of specific supplements and their effectiveness of different health situations.
A survey in the United States found that about 65% of Americans take dietary supplements. Another survey indicated that the rate of consumption of some supplements significantly increased compared to last year .
Here is list of the the most popular nutritional supplement according to recent surveys, and important tips for safe and effective use of dietary supplements. Because after all , although they are easy to purchase, these supplements are actually just like any drug. Therefore you should consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
According to an American survey, 71.7 % of Americans are taking Omega-3. I’ve already written in the past about the amazing health benefits of omega 3 and why it’s so good for you. There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids : EPA and DHA that are produced from fish, and ALA which is derived from plant sources such as sage and flaxseed. The Most recommended are those produced from fish. This is because our body is able to use ALA, but it first needs to convert it to DHA and EPA, and the resulting conversion rate is very low.
Benefits: Preventing heart disease, blood vessels disease and stroke, reducing insulin resistance, reducing the risk of depression, improve cognitive function and brain development and visual system of fetuses and infants, and the prevention of chronic diseases and cancer. Recently a review of studies found that a high intake of EPA and DHA is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.
How it works: DHA has a structural role in cell membranes, and are particularly dominant in the nervous system, brain and eye. EPA has a beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels, and prevents depression and improves mood, cognition and concentration, as it regulates the neural signal transmission in the brain.
Dosage: Depends on the state of your health, so you will need to consult with your doctor.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D was rated at the top of the nutritional supplements for several years, after Omega- 3 and co- enzyme Q10. This year it topped even the co enzyme Q10, and according to the survey taking it 55.5 % of Americans .
Benefits: There is hardly any disease that has not been linked to this vitamin. It is essential to treat osteoporosis and prevent fractures in old age, helps to prevent type 1 and 2 diabetes, various cancers and autoimmune diseases, and it’s also essential for reducing the risk of heart attacks, helps prevent obesity and even improve athletic performance. Read here more about 12 common diseases caused by vitamin D deficiency.
How it works: Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption in the gut and its absorption in the bone tissue, and therefore is very important in building and maintaining bone density and strength. It is also important to maintain balance and muscle strength. It also has the ability to regulate the immune system and inhibit the development of inflammatory processes in the body in many ways. A link has also been found between vitamin D levels and insulin resistance, which is the first step in the development of diabetes type 2.
Dosage: According to the extent of your exposure to the sun and your blood tests.
3. Co-enzyme Q10
Co-enzyme Q10 is still one of the most popular supplements, and in fact its popularity continued to rise this year, and according to the survey taking it 54.1 % from the public.
Benefits: Its efficiency has been studied in connection with a long list of diseases, including cancer, gum disease, diabetes, neurological disorders and even aging. But most of the attention in recent decades is concentrated in heart disease and blood vessels.
How it works: Co-enzyme Q10 has a key role in producing energy in cells. In addition it acts as a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical before they cause damage by protecting DNA and cell walls, and various enzymatic systems related to metabolism in the body. The highest concentration of Co-enzyme Q10 is in the heart muscle cells, and studies indicate a close relationship between heart failure to deficiency on Q10, and positive results using this supplement in heart failure patients.
Also, since drugs from the statins family, used to lower cholesterol, also lower levels of co enzyme Q10 in the blood, taking Q10 supplement can help prevent side effects of lacking Q10 .
Dosage: There is no fixed recommendation, and therefore you need to consult with your doctor regarding the desired dose according to your health and disease background. The recommended dose for statin patients is 100-200 mg, and in cases where there has already been side effects – at least 200 mg.