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The Dark Side Of Nutritional Supplements 

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If, at breakfast, you display a whole arsenal of pills, powders or liquids that no doctor has prescribed for you, convinced that you need them to survive, take a moment to think about why you do it. It is more than likely that you have been advised by a friend or you have read in a magazine that at your age Omega 3 is essential, that you will not succeed without your daily dose of magnesium or that the lack of iron weakens you. You are not the only one, since according to a survey by the OCU (Organization of Consumers and Users) is what 30% of Spaniards between 17 and 74 years of age do. And the trend is increasing. Calcium ranks first in the preferences of Spaniards (9%), followed by Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium-potassium, vitamin D, multivitamin complexes (8%), vitamin C and iron (7%) and vitamin B (6%).

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Paradoxes of life

Those who take them are convinced that thanks to these products they will live longer and better, stay younger for much longer or avoid certain diseases. The truth is that it has not been proven at all that they will avoid ailments or cure the ones they already have. It is possible that they will help them to stay healthier and fitter, but they would achieve the same (or better) results with a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, in white and blue fish, dried fruits, whole foods, etcetera. The study carried out by the OCU shows that those most likely to take nutrients are those who need them the least, because they are at the same time those who are most concerned about following a healthy diet, a paradox. Those who do not, could easily dispense with vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and whatever are taken if they incorporated into their menu foods that are the backbone of the Mediterranean diet. The truth is that taking nutrients that are not needed, apart from affecting the domestic economy, as they are not exactly cheap, is at best useless and at worst, an activity of risk.

They are not considered medicines, but food, and their production and marketing are governed by those of the food industry. This means that they are subject to very different and less stringent controls than medicines. And in no case can they be advertised as such. It is possible that over-nutrition is harmless, but not always. Although the worst thing is to consider that they can reverse the course of a chronic disease, or improve the symptoms of others, because it is not scientifically proven, even if advertising suggests otherwise. That undeniable that certain pathologies result in a lack of nutrients and in such situations, we must resort to those found on the market.

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