Everything You Need to Know About Suppplements

What are Supplements?

Supplements are a topic that has become more frequently addressed over the past five years. I remember the first time I found supplements in my Mother’s room. Of course, being the curious child that I was, I decided to taste it. Its metallic taste made me realize that tasting it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. So what are supplements, and what do they do? The term “dietary supplement” describes a wide and assorted class of products that you consume or drink to maintain excellent health and enhance your diet. Dietary supplements are not medications, neither should they be regarded as a replacement for food, instead, they should “supplement” whatever plan of action one has in place to tackle a health or dietary issue.  Ordinarily, dietary elements can be made up of one or more aggregates of any of the following:

supplements

  • Vitamin
  • Mineral
  • Fiber
  • Herbs or other botanical compounds
  • Amino acid (the individual building blocks of a protein)
  • Concentrate, metabolite, constituent, or extract

Supplements are manufactured and are meant to act as support structures for the maintenance of the human body. Dietary supplements can further comprise of certain elements that have not been established as being essential to life but are vended as having a helpful organic outcome, such as plant pigments. Animals can also be a source of supplement ingredients, and a very good example of this is the collagen from chickens or fish. These are also sold individually or in combination, and may be combined with different nutrient ingredients.

Types of Supplements

Dietary supplements also come in a number of forms including:

  • Tablets: (Perhaps one of the most popular ways of producing supplements.)
  • Capsules: (Capsules are also becoming increasingly popular with time.
  • Powders: (Some fitness companies have begun to use powders to store supplements)
  • Softgels
  • Gelcaps
  • Liquids.

These supplements can be found at a number of retailers including:

  • Pharmacies
  • Grocery stores
  • Vitamin and health food stores
  • Websites
  • Mail-order catalogs.

Dietary supplements include:

  • Botanicals (derived from plants and possibly including herbs)
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fatty Acids
  • Other Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements are generally obtainable in health food stores, drug stores, grocery stores, fitness markets and online. They come in many forms including two-piece capsules, soft gels, tablets, bottles of liquid, powders and gummies.

Ingredients Contained in Supplements

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines a dietary element as a vitamin; mineral, herb, amino acid or other plant-produced dietary substance that is set in place for use by human beings to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, component, extract, or compound of the above-mentioned substances. supplements

Also according to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, unlike medical drugs, supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure any ailments. Instead, they are meant to do just what their name suggests: supplement That means supplements should not make claims, such as “reduces pain” or “treats heart disease.” Claims like these can only legitimately be made for drugs, not dietary supplements.

What is in dietary supplements?

Dietary supplements include such ingredients as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and enzymes. Dietary supplements are marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, soft gels, gelcaps, powders, and liquids.

gel capsule

Below are some of the ingredients that are contained in some supplements, but beware, some of the ingredients are approved by the FDA, and some are not. Below are a few examples of ingredients that are in certain supplements.

Acacia rigidula

According to the Food and Drug Administration, Acacia rigidula is labeled as a dietary ingredient in some products marketed as dietary supplements. However, the Food and Drug Administration  is not aware of any information demonstrating that A. rigidula was lawfully marketed as a dietary ingredient in the United States before October 15, 1994. As a result, A. rigidula is a new dietary ingredient, and for dietary supplements that contain A. rigidula to be lawfully marketed, one of the following must apply:

  1. the product containing the dietary ingredient must contain only dietary ingredients that have been present in the food supply as an article used in food in a form in which the food has not been chemically altered, or
  2. There must be a history of use or other evidence of safety establishing that the dietary ingredient, when used under the conditions recommended or suggested in the product labeling, will reasonably be expected to be safe; and at least 75 days before the product is introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce, the manufacturer or distributor must notify FDA of the basis on which the manufacturer or distributor has concluded that a dietary supplement containing such dietary ingredient will reasonably be expected to be safe.
supplements
Image source: Frontline

Because neither of these conditions has been met by those marketing products that contain A. rigidula as a dietary ingredient, these products are deemed to be adulterated.

Acacia rigidula is also known as:

  • Vachellia rigidula
  • Chaparro Prieto
  • blackbrush

BMPEA

According to the Food and Drug Administration, BMPEA is a substance that does not meet the statutory definition of a dietary ingredient. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines a dietary ingredient as a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of the preceding substances. BMPEA is none of these, rendering misbranded any products that declare BMPEA as a dietary supplement.

BMPEA is also known as:

  • βMePEA
  • R-beta-methylphenethylamine
  • R-beta-methylphenethylamine HCl
  • Beta-methylphenethylamine
  • β-methylphenethylamine
  • 1-amino-2-phenylpropane
  • 2-phenylpropane-1-amine
  • 2-phenylpropanolamine
  • alpha-benzylethylamine
  • 1-phenyl-1-methyl-2-aminoethane
  • beta-methylbenzeneethanamine
  • beta-phenylpropylamine
  • 2- phenyl-1-propanamine

DMAA

DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) is an amphetamine derivative that has been marketed in sports performance and weight loss products, many of which are sold as dietary supplements. DMAA is not a dietary ingredient, and DMAA-containing products marketed as dietary supplements are illegal and their marketing violates the law.

Also known as methylhexanamine or geranium extract, DMAA is often touted as a “natural” stimulant; however, the FDA is not aware of any reliable science indicating that DMAA exists naturally in plants. Although DMAA at one time was approved as a drug for nasal decongestion, it is no longer approved for this use and no medical use of DMAA is recognized today. DMAA, especially in combination with other stimulant ingredients such as caffeine, can be a health risk to consumers. Taking DMAA can raise blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular problems ranging from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to heart attack.

The FDA continues to advise consumers not to buy or use products marketed as dietary supplements that contain DMAA due to the health risks they present.

DMBA

DMBA is labeled as a dietary ingredient in some products marketed as dietary supplements. However, the FDA is not aware of any information demonstrating that DMBA was lawfully marketed as a dietary ingredient in the United States before October 15, 1994. As a result, for dietary supplements that contain DMBA to be lawfully marketed, one of the following must apply:

the product containing the dietary ingredient must contain only dietary ingredients that have been present in the food supply as an article used in food in a form in which the food has not been chemically altered, or
there must be a history of use or other evidence of safety establishing that the dietary ingredient, when used under the conditions recommended in the product labeling, will reasonably be expected to be safe; and prior to bringing the products to market, the manufacturer or distributor must notify FDA of the basis on which the manufacturer or distributor has concluded that a dietary supplement containing such dietary ingredient will reasonably expected to be safe.

Because neither of these conditions has been met by those marketing products that contain or are labeled as containing DMBA as a dietary ingredient, the FDA considers these dietary supplements to be adulterated.

DMBA is also known as:

  • 1,3-Dimethylbutylamine
  • 2-Amino-4-Methylpentane Citrate
  • 4-Amino-2-Methylpentane Citrate
  • 4-Amino Methylpentane Citrate
  • Amperall
  • AMP
  • AMP Citrate
  • 4-AMP Citrate
  • 4-Methyl-2-Pentanamine

Keep an eye out for the second portion of this blog post. What do you think? What are your thoughts on the ingredients contained in some supplements? Have you checked out our great supplements? Right now is the best time to check out the array of supplements that we have. For example, we have biotin supplements, magnesium supplements and turmeric curcumin supplement to name a few. What is even more amazing is that you can find some of these items on sale right now. Head over to www.justpotent.com to take advantage of huge savings on supplements that work.

SOURCES:

Types of Dietary Supplements.” American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/other-treatments/herbs-supplements-and-alternative-medicines/types-of-dietary-supplements.html.

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Dietary Supplements.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/.

Let’s Talk About Biotin Supplements

In the last blog post, I wrote on melatonin. Today though, we are going to look at another vitamin that falls in the “tin” family: biotin.

What is biotin and why do we need it? Why is it so important? Well, as the old adage says, knowledge is power, and as my grandma, Elizabeth used to tell me “You can’t use the knowledge you don’t have”. So today, I am going to share the knowledge that I have of biotin with you, and I am also going to talk about our amazing biotin supplement, and then you can leave your comments in the “comments section” below and we will take it from there.

What is Biotin?

The word “biotin” is a word that originated from the ancient Greek word “biotos,” which implies “life” or “nourishment.” Biotin falls under B vitamins, and out of all the vitamins that fall under this category, biotin serves as a primary ingredient for keeping the human skin, hair, eyes, liver, and overall nervous system healthful. Biotin is also an important nutrient during reproduction, as it’s crucial for embryonic growth and the overall well being of the growing child in the belly of it’s mother.

Biotin Source

Since Biotin (which is also known as Vitamin H) is crucial for a healthy life, it is important to incorporate it into your diet. This can be through supplements and natural foods such as eggs. Eggs are a primary source of Biotin, and we will talk about this much later in this post. Most people get the daily dosage of biotin that they need from eating a healthy diet, but there have also been many scientific claims that have said that getting more biotin can manage your blood sugar. These claims are still being researched but on a general scale, biotin is very effective for promoting healthy hair, skin, and nails. I personally take supplements to help keep my skin fresh, my nails healthy and firm, and my hair lustrous. Like I mentioned before biotin also does a great job of helping pregnant moms to birth healthier babies.

eggs

Now, you’re probably wondering what I am wondering, and you probably have a few questions like: How much biotin is enough, where else can you get it? and what can it really do for you?

Biotin Dosage

You want to know the right dosage of biotin, don’t you?

The answer is this: between 30 and 100 micrograms (mcg) per day of biotin is often recommended for adolescents and adults. Because it is a water-soluble vitamin, taking in any extra for of biotin will simply pass through your body when you urinate. According to Healthline, there are no known toxicity symptoms associated with too much biotin. What this means is that if you’re taking 5,000 mcg of biotin or 10,000 mcg of biotin, there are no known issues whatsoever.

Biotin Supplements and diabetes

Some research, including  an animal study, suggests that people who have type 2 diabetes may benefit from taking biotin in the form of supplements to help regulate high blood glucose levels. Although these scientific claims have been made, the research so far is completely inconclusive.

Researchers have studied how biotin supplements affect blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Some evidence shows biotin concentrations in blood may be lower in people with diabetes, compared to healthy individuals. Studies in diabetics given biotin alone have only served to provide mixed results.

However, several controlled studies indicate that biotin supplements, combined with the mineral chromium, may lower blood sugar levels in some people with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, according to another study performed on animals, biotin may help prevent kidney damage in people who have an insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes. However, like the other study, some more research is needed to support this claim.

Fine Hair, Skin and Nails? Check

Biotin deficiencies are rare in the human body, but it is not impossible for a person to have biotin deficiency. But because people with a deficiency often show symptoms of hair loss or a scaly rash, medical practitioners generally advise that patients increase their intake of biotin through supplements.

Biotin should not only be taken when there is a deficiency though. It is important to note that the vitamin also helps to strengthen hair, skin, and nails so if you are pretty particular about holistic health, then this is something that you should have in mind.

Nails, Biotin

Fetal development.

I mentioned in the previous paragraph that biotin is extremely helpful for reproduction and pregnancy. Although such situations are extremely rare, pregnant women may become biotin deficient. To help promote baby health, take a prenatal vitamin that contains biotin and folic acid during pregnancy.

In addition to this, it has been estimated that up to 50% of pregnant women may develop a mild biotin deficiency. This means that it may start to affect their well-being slightly, but isn’t severe enough to cause noticeable symptoms. If you are an expectant mother It is still important to pay close attention to this and ensure that you are getting the maximum nutrition that you need during pregnancy.

Deficiencies are thought to occur due to the faster biotin breakdown within the body during pregnancy. A major cause for concern is that animal studies have found that a biotin deficiency during pregnancy may cause birth defects.

baby weight 3

Nevertheless, remember to always consult your doctor or dietitian/nutritionist before taking supplements during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. If you’re a pregnant or breastfeeding, your biotin requirements may go up. Up to 50% of women may get less of this vitamin than they need during pregnancy. Also, a major side effect lies in the fact that usually, high doses of biotin can be dangerous to the baby, so additional supplementation of biotin isn’t recommended for pregnant women at this stage.

Multiple Sclerosis

According to Medical News, Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease. In MS, the protective covering of nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord and eyes are damaged or destroyed. This protective sheath is called myelin, and biotin is thought to be an important factor in producing it. A pilot study in 23 people with progressive MS tested the use of high doses of biotin. Over 90% of participants had some degree of clinical improvement. While this finding needs much more study, at least two randomized controlled trials have been carried out in people with progressive MS. The final results have not been published, but the preliminary results are promising. In summary, high biotin doses hold promise for treating multiple sclerosis, a serious disease that affects the central nervous system.

Sources of Biotin

There are foods that naturally have biotin in them…

  • Egg yolk
  • Organ meat (liver, kidney)
  • Nuts; almonds, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts
  • Butter gotten from nuts
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains and cereals
  • Cauliflower
  • Bananas
  • Mushrooms

Egg yolk

We should be aware that food-processing techniques such as cooking can render biotin ineffective, raw or less-processed versions of these foods contain more active biotin and are much more recommended by doctors and physicians.

Conclusion

Biotin is necessary for normal body function, and should not be taken for granted like we often seem to take certain vitamins for granted. It is also true that supplements may help pregnant women and some people with diabetes, but that does not mean that individuals should neglect a balanced diet, maintain a healthy sleep routine and exercise regularly to maintain optimal health.

Sources

Biotin: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-313/biotin.

Palsdottir, MS Hrefna. “Biotin: Benefits, Sources, and Safety.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 16 Mar. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318724.php