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/.

Melatonin – All You Need to Know

Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the brain. This hormone is responsible for our sleep and wake cycles. An imbalance of this hormone may pose serious health risks and may be a major contributing factor to a lot of diseases.

Just Potent Melatonin 10mg
Just Potent Melatonin 10mg

Research after research have shown melatonin to be highly effective for some people and mildly effective or ineffective for others. What this means is that melatonin supplement as a sleep aid will not work for everyone.

The melatonin hormone, also know as N-acetyl-5-methoxy tryptamine, is very important for proper functioning of the human body and prevention and treatment of some diseases.  The N-acetyl-5-methoxy tryptamine is secreted in the brain based on time of the day. Although melatonin hormone is ever present in the brain, its release and amount is mostly dictated by the time of the day. During day time, the amount of melatonin in the brain is at its lowest. As time and day progresses towards the evening, the brain starts to secrete this hormone.

It is true that majority of us know melatonin as an important sleep aid. What some of us don’t know is that melatonin has been studied to help alleviate, prevent, or treat some serious diseases. In this post, we will walk you through some of the other benefits of melatonin.

Melatonin Supplement For Sleep

One of the important benefits of melatonin, as mentioned earlier, is that it helps control our sleep / wake cycle. In other words, melatonin is responsible for helping us fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. For melatonin to really help you do all this, you have to help it help you achieve your best sleep.

Melatonin Hormone Loves Darkness
Melatonin Hormone Loves Darkness

So how do you help melatonin help you? We mentioned that melatonin release in the brain increases as we approach evenings. What this means in is that this hormone is dark-friendly. For melatonin supplement to help you sleep better, you need to feed it darkness. You need to prevent different sources of light (smartphones, TVs, and lights from other sources). This is the most important factor that can limit the effectiveness of any melatonin supplement. Apart from light as a melatonin limiting factor, other factors that can prevent melatonin supplement from helping you fall asleep include:

  • Underlying health conditions
  • Your environment
  • Mental state
  • Caffeine

These list of factors are not exhaustive in any sense, however, these are very common factors that hinder sleep. Underlying health conditions can definitely interfere with the production of the melatonin hormone and also interfere with sleep even in the presence of high melatonin levels in the brain. Experiencing pain, arthritis for example, in one part of different parts of your body can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.

Your environment is another important factor that will interfere with your sleep. If you’re feeling too hot or too cold, you may find that you’re not able to fall and/or stay asleep for a long time. It is very very important to create a conducive environment to sleep in. Another environmental factor will be noise levels. While some are totally fine with some level of noise, some are very sensitive to it. It is important that you sleep in an environment where there is little to no noise.

Mental state is another factor that may interfere with our sleep. When you’re stressed about an exam or are anxious about something, or are depressed, all of these will definitely affect how fast you fall asleep and the overall quality of your sleep.

Caffeine Sources
Caffeine Sources… Source: http://www.eufic.org/en/whats-in-food/article/caffeine-qas

Caffeine affects the quality of your sleep in many ways. Studies have shown caffeine to decrease sleep time by an average of 2 hours[1]. Caffeine has also been shown to be responsible for the number of times you wake throughout the night. Caffeine’s effect on sleep is not universal. Some people have caffeine and still get their quality sleep while some wouldn’t dare to consume caffeine 6-10 hours before bed time. Goes to show you how we are all different in our special ways; some are lucky and some just aren’t.

Melatonin Dosage

The right dosage of melatonin will vary from one individual to another. Some people who can’t sleep or have some form of sleeping disorder will need small dosage of melatonin, while some individuals will need a high dose. Currently, the popular dosage sizes of melatonin are 1mg, 2mg, 3mg, 5mg, and 10mg. Many of these melatonin dosage sizes are readily available online and in stores.

Melatonin in 10mg and 5mg Bottles
Melatonin in 10mg and 5mg Bottles

While on the topic of melatonin dosage, it is important to note that melatonin can be used by adults and children. Children who have issues sleeping will find that melatonin can help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It’s not advisable to have kids over-rely on melatonin. The main reason is that over-relying on melatonin while they are young might mean they may need melatonin for the rest of their lives. Additionally, there are no studies on long term effect of melatonin use.

So what is the right melatonin dosage? Again, this will vary from one individual to another. Some individuals who need very little help with sleep will find that 1/2 a milligram to 1mg is just enough, while some individuals will need 2mg or 10mg. Based on available studies, it does not appear that one can overdose on melatonin. The good news is that taking too much melatonin isn’t harmful to an adult, it’s just a matter of body tolerance.

If you haven’t used melatonin pills before, you absolutely do not know how well it will work for you or how your body will react to it. We suggest you start out at 1/2 a milligram for children and 1mg for adults. If that doesn’t work, you may increase to 1mg for children and 3mg for adults. If these dosage amounts aren’t effective, you could safely increase dosage up to 3mg for children and 5mg for adults. If you plan to give your child more than 3mg, please consult with your healthcare provider first. As for adults, you can take anywhere from 1mg to 20mg without issues. Some people take more, but for the purpose of sleep, it is best to experiment incrementally as opposed to just starting out with a high dosage like 10mg.

Be aware, high melatonin dosage have been known to cause seizures in children. Be sure to consult with you pediatric provider before administering melatonin on a child.

Melatonin Overdose

One question we have been getting lately is whether you can overdose on melatonin. The answer is a yes with a caveat. With a caveat because there isn’t a dosage recommendation for melatonin. As we mentioned before, it’s best to experiment and gradually increase dosage if 1mg isn’t effective in making you fall asleep.

What happens when you take more melatonin than you body can handle? You may start to experience the side effects of melatonin. Some possible side effects of taking melatonin, either in lower or higher doses include: drowsiness, grogginess, irritability, nausea, headache, and a host of other symptoms.

Melatonin and Jet Lag

Travelers who travel frequently across time zones and continents can attest first-hand how helpful melatonin was in helping to deal with jet lag. When you jet lag, you experience some symptoms that take several days or weeks to overcome. Some jet lag symptoms are feelings of discomfort and irritability, erratic and poor sleep, indigestion, and fatigue during the day.[1]

A randomized study in 2002 tried to answer whether melatonin is a good supplement for prevention and treatment of jet lag. What this study found was that melatonin isn’t just a good supplement for prevention and treatment of jet lag, it found melatonin to be great supplement for jet lag prevention and treatment.

The study [2] found that 9 out of 10 trials showed melatonin, when taken close to bedtime (between 10pm and 12am) of trial participants, helped decrease jet lag. The positive effects of melatonin in alleviating the symptoms of jet lag was even better when trial participants flew across at least 5 time zones.

Other Uses and Benefits of Melatonin

Breast Cancer

BPA (Bisphenol A) is a very popular chemical in a lot of things we interact with daily. BPA is widely used to manufacture plastics, sealants, paper treatment (receipts/invoice), and many supplies we use. BPA is known to mimic estrogen and is responsible for hormone-related cancers. A new 2018 study found that taking melatonin could dramatically reduce the proliferation of breast cancer cells by killing BPA-elevated cells in the body. The conclusion of the the authors, in their own words:

… these results demonstrated that melatonin could abrogate BPA-induced proliferation of BC cells. Therapeutically, melatonin could be regarded as a potential medication for BPA-associated [breast cancer] BC. [3]

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder characterized by generalized muscular pain accompanied by fatigue and tenderness at specific anatomic sites called tender points.[4]

A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study on 101 patients suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) found that melatonin, administered alone or with 20mg of flueoxetine (Prozac), was effective in treating patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.[4]

Menopause

With menopause comes sleep problems. Some studies have shown melatonin to be effective in treating menopause related sleep problems. Additionally, melatonin helps perimenopausal woment prevent bone loss and improves the quality of life.[5]

Cardiopreotective and Neuroprotective Properties

Studies have shown melatonin to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some research suggest that melatonin may help lower blood pressure. Other research have shown melatonin to increase cell survival while at the same time decreasing oxidative stress.[6]

 

 

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1402564/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12076414
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29330934
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21158908
[5] https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/melatonin/
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29325994