In a pharmacy as in a supermarket, food supplements are readily available to us all without prescription. As they are not qualified as drugs, they are not subject to any sort of checks before they go on sale. Indeed, their effectiveness does not even need to be evaluated for the product to be allowed onto the market.
If supplements are strictly not recommended during pregnancy (unless a doctor specifically says otherwise), we should be asking ourselves the question; what’s in them which can help a healthy adult? Or is it just a case of filling gaps, sleeping better, or losing a few pounds, for example?
What is a dietary supplement?
If this term seems vague to you, you should be aware that a dietary supplement is a concentration of vitamins, minerals and/or plants that are intended to fill gaps, or to be of physiological aid. They are designed to be consumed in addition to a diet rather than actually a replacement for food.
They can be consumed safely if you already eat a balanced diet but you are still lacking certain nutrients, for example if you are vegan or if you are trying to get pregnant. In these cases, dietary supplements can be taken after a blood test determines the vitamins and minerals lacking. Whatever the case, supplements should only be taken after the approval of a doctor who will prescribe the appropriate supplements in the appropriate doses.
In the worst case scenario, taking inappropriate supplements without deficiencies can be dangerous, at best, useless. Most cheap supplements include vitamins and minerals which are difficult to absorb while others, containing too many supplements, are often difficult to absorb because of the interaction of its many components. In a similar way, a plant supplements can lead to an overdose; they are not always as innocuous as they appear and are positively discouraged for certain people.
At Maia Baudelaire, we prefer and encourage people to consume whole foods! No risk of an overdose, better absorption and a real pleasure to eat.
Naturally secreted in the evening, Melatonin is a hormone that help us fall asleep. Taking a supplement should therefore help us with insomnia, but it should be carefully assessed, on a case by case basis, with the help of a health professional.
Because of its typical but quite serious potential side effects (nausea, vomiting, nightmares, irritability, vertigo*), self-medication with melatonin is discouraged by ANSES. Not to mention its interactions with other drugs which should be limited according to the prescription. This surprises many, who have become accustomed to taking the supplement without posing themselves too many questions.
Slimming with supplements
Finally, as with regards to slimming supplements, with their endless promises of a dream silhouette or a tiny size in 3 weeks, as you fully know, this is pure marketing. Indeed, these capsules are often composed of diuretics, which means that any weight lost is due to the loss of water! It’s a bit sad because it is common knowledge that the only real way to achieve lasting results, like renewing your energy, sleeping better, having softer skin or shiny hair, is to rebalance a diet with regular physical activity.
At Maia Baudelaire, we can offer you the best solution to regaining your natural weight. Our qualified dietician nutritionists will supply you with a healthy schedule of bespoke menus and arrange regular telephone consultations to help you along your way. We also have recipes available on our site that are not only healthy and delicious but are also full of vitamins! Of course, this is the best way to compensate for any deficiencies; there’s absolutely no need to consume any supplements with us. So why don’t you start by treating yourself to our Bikini program which will help you regain your proper weight.