The emergence of food supplements dates back to the mid-20th century with the synthesis of the first vitamins. From now on the offer of these products has grown enormously and you can find countless food supplements on the market. This wide variety of supplements, together with the lack of knowledge of citizens, may make their consumption difficult. Do we really know what they are and how they can help us?
What are food supplements?
Food supplements, also known as dietary or nutritional supplements, come from the need to provide nutrients that may not be taken in sufficient amounts. These include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, probiotics, enzymes, essential fatty acids, fiber, herbal extracts, and other substances dosed as capsules, tablets, vials, etc (1).
Each nutrient is needed in certain quantities. Although they were created to help counteract nutritional deficiencies, high doses don’t always mean greater effect. If you consume some of these supplements in high doses, they may cause side effects and may be harmful to you. At UE level, regulations have been created to protect users from possible side effects. That’s why it is important to read product recommendations before their consumption. In all our products you will find how, when to take them and all their ingredients, transparency is in our DNA.
From Kobho Labs we recommend before buying a food supplement to ask yourself these key questions:
- What potential health benefits can I get from this supplement?
- Is this product for me?
- How, when, and for how long should I take it?
Some examples of dietary supplements are magnesium to reduce fatigue and tiredness, vitamin C -one of the best-known vitamins- which is a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin B12 for maintenance of healthy blood and nerve cells. But remember, dietary supplements go beyond vitamins and minerals. Essential fatty acids -omega-3- from fish oil are part of the most important supplements in the prevention of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
At present, more than 50% of adults usually take dietary supplements, with women consuming more than men.
Who needs food supplements?
Those who live a modern-day lifestyle. Remember that dietary supplements are not a substitute for a balanced, healthy diet. However, they fill in those gaps that cannot be covered by your diet.
What do we mean by a healthy, balanced diet? Is the one that includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, different sources of proteins (i.e., lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs), whole-grain cereals, legumes, and healthy fats (i.e., extra virgin olive oil).
If you eat a great deal of these foods -following nutritional guidelines-, you probably will not need extra nutrients for maintaining overall health.
Unfortunately, the hectic lifestyle that most of us lead today makes it difficult to follow this pattern. The Western diet is generally characterized by high intakes of processed and pre-packed food, refined grains or trans fats, at the expense of a low intake of fresh foods. In addition, the quality of food is getting worse, restrictive diets are in vogue, and we are eating out more and more.
All this leads to difficulty in meeting nutritional recommendations and, consequently, increases the risk of deficiencies. Recent studies have shown that intake of some vitamins, such as vitamin D, is under recommended levels in a large part of the population in Western countries (2). That’s why food supplements can be a bridge between your current intake and nutritional recommendations, contributing to the maintenance and improvement of overall health. In certain special situations, like during times of stress, athletes, after taking antibiotics or suffering an injury, food supplements can be a help.
As nutrients are part of the different organs and systems, food supplements concentrated in one or another nutrient can offer specific benefits, such as boosting your immune system, helping to stop hair loss, strengthening your joints, and improving your cholesterol levels. As you can see, the benefits are varied. That is why Kobho Labs with its wide range of products, which are also complementary, adapts to your needs.
As we age, the human body changes and its requirements too. Joints become weaker, it is more difficult to remember things, high cholesterol levels are common, and fatigue and tiredness are day-to-day life. An adequate supply of vitamins and minerals can be your ally in slowing down the aging process and preventing age-related diseases, like cardiovascular disease, among others.
The reasons for taking food supplements are extensive. Well targeted and dosed food supplements can make up for our nutritional deficiencies. Kobho Labs not only offers you a wide range of products, but also has a test developed by medical experts to help you find the supplements that best fit your needs. We believe that freedom lies in knowledge, that is why education is in our DNA. We are also committed to accessible and honest information so that you have the freedom to choose how to improve your overall health.
For those who need a boost of nutrients because eating a balanced diet becomes a challenge, eating out frequently, wanting healthy aging, and other special needs, there is a Kobho product for them.
Now you know a little more about food supplements, do you dare to try any of our products?
1. European Commission, Food supplements section
2. Troesch, B. et al. (2012) “Dietary surveys indicate vitamin intakes below recommendations are common in representative Western countries,” The British journal of nutrition, 108(4), pp. 692–698. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001808.