Supplements and vitamins provided by the tested laboratories are considered as safer alternatives to non-traditional and untested medication. It is better to know how taking these would affect your health and follow safety precautions. Buying traditional supplements and vitamins requires you to know something about them as well as the proper way of taking them. Here are some guidelines to help you:
1. Talk with your doctor before taking supplements and vitamins especially if you have illnesses and allergies or if you are currently taking other medications or herbal treatments. Some vitamins and supplements may cause an allergic reaction or aggravate the conditions of those who are ill. Also, drugs and herbs taken will tend to react with each other within the body: some medication complement each other, others negate each other\'s effects, while others produce a terrible combination which can lead to complications and even death when left unattended. The doctor may advise you to take certain vitamins or supplements as well as prohibit you from taking others depending on your condition.
2. Supplements and vitamins function to help the body do certain processes such as forming tissues, healing wounds, improving the immune system and others. If you are not prescribed a specific supplement or vitamin to take, you could browse through a list of supplements and vitamins and see the ones that you think you need. Research about the functions of supplements and vitamins on the Internet, in books and magazines or ask your doctor, pharmacist or nutritionist.
3. Supplements and vitamins come in many forms such as pills, tablets, capsules, powders, liquids and others. They are usually taken by swallowing them along with a glass of water in order to facilitate absorption. Some of them are required to be taken on an empty stomach while others are taken after eating. Some vitamins such as water-soluble ones are required to be taken regularly since the body through urinating and perspiring excretes them. Others, specifically fat-soluble vitamins, don\'t have to be taken regularly because they are stored in the body for a longer time, yet high doses can lead to toxicity. Know and follow the specific instructions on taking vitamins and supplements properly.
4. When buying supplements and vitamins, read the label on the bottle or container and make sure you know that all the ingredients that compose them are safe and suitable for you. Avoid those that contain artificial flavoring and sweeteners and also those with coloring. Some of these even have toxic preservatives and chemicals added to them, so be careful.
5. Look at the expiration date. Some supplements and vitamins sold may be past their intended date of consumption and taking them may harm your health more than do you any good.
6. Shop around. There are a lot of traditional supplements and vitamins sold everywhere, and you have to know which seller to trust and which one to avoid. Do background checks and read testimonials from other buyers and users, making sure that these are authentic and not made up by the company which sells them.
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