The effectiveness of nutritional supplements in preventing certain diseases and disorders from developing is still being researched today, so any claims or miracle statements that guarantee the prevention of certain diseases is generally considered fraudulent. Certain vitamins, however, do contain antioxidants that protect the body from free radical damage, making them potent and therefore legitimate preventive health nutritional supplements.
- Antioxidant preventive health nutritional supplements
Antioxidant preventive health nutritional supplements include vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene-- a compound of vitamin A. Mineral antioxidants include zinc, selenium, and manganese. While it is likely improbable to rid the body from all free radicals, together, these vitamins and minerals help defend the body from oxidative stressors, working to increase the immune system.
- How preventive health nutritional supplements work
Preventive health nutritional supplements can be packaged and sold as a sole-vitamin or mineral, or can be compounded together as complete multi-vitamins and minerals.
Each vitamin and mineral has its own function in fighting free radicals: vitamin C protects and aids the utilization of proteins in the body; vitamin E protects fat in cell membranes; beta-carotene protects against free radicals formed by ultraviolet light; zinc guards against free radicals that may have slipped by other antioxidants; and selenium enzymes guard the energy producing part of the cells.
- Diseases and free radicals
A combination of antioxidant vitamins is important (taken in the right amount and dosage per day) because free radicals are known to be connected to an array of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, cataracts, and even early aging, to name a few. It is speculated that a regular and complete intake of these preventive health nutritional supplements can greatly lower the chances of acquiring such diseases, as well as slow down the degenerative process.
The problem with preventive health nutritional supplements is that it is hard to know for sure if a certain disease would have occurred if a person was not taking the supplements in the first place, or the other way around. At this point, science cannot conclude that supplements are "cures" for many diseases. However, supplements have been proven to prevent deficiencies, such as scurvy. Preventive health nutritional supplements, therefore, should be seen as a health insurance for the body with no absolute guarantees.
Preventive health nutritional supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration Board, and therefore, it is safer to go with a manufacturer that is GMP-compliant to assure the ingredients and product claimed in the label contain the right amount and dosage. GMP compliance also assures that the product does not contain any contaminants.