Make informed choices when it comes to food supplements.

Dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular day by day. It could be the result of a lack of proper health care combined with the use of manufacturers’ and entrepreneurs’ marketing promotion tactics, such as pretentious commercials that claim to help improve memory, lose weight, strengthen bones, treat osteoporosis, prevent cancer, and so on, which is not the case.

So, elderly people and family members should understand what a dietary supplement is.

Dietary supplements are products that are taken by mouth in addition to regular meals. Supplements in the form of pills, capsules, powders, flakes, liquids, or other non-food forms that contain nutrients or other substances as constituents are available to customers seeking health benefits.

Therefore, dietary supplements are simply another sort of food which is not a cure-all for any condition.

The cures for cancer, obesity, and osteoporosis are all advertised. It’s a commercial in which the features are exaggerated!!

If a dietary supplement is claimed to have certain properties, it should be registered as a drug, which will be thoroughly examined to see whether the product has those properties or not.

In this regard, it is questionable whether or not the elderly should take dietary supplements.

In fact, it is critical to maintain the health of the elderly. Simply eat the recommended amounts of each of the five dietary groups, avoid smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages, exercise regularly, and get at least 8 hours of sleep to keep your mind fresh and clear. If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, you should consult a doctor. For just this reason, it is not necessary to take dietary supplements.

However, some elderly people may require food supplements. The following are some suggestions for purchasing dietary supplements:

  • The label: dietary supplements must include a food serial number within the FDA mark, indicating the manufacturing facility, both local and foreign, followed appropriate manufacturing methods and the formula of the ingredients used in the production was safe.
  • Don’t be tricked by commercials: if the information obtained does not match the product information label or reveals attributes that are not listed on the label, it should be discarded. Only the information on the label should be trusted.

Always remember that dietary supplements are foods, not medicines, and so they cannot be used to relieve, prevent, or cure any disease as stated in the advertisement.

Source: Food and Drug Administration, “Consume the proper foods and use the correct products”, Tham Leela Magazine 135, March 13, 2012. Available from