A dizzying array of supplements claim to improve your health and boost your immunity naturally. Many of the supplements that line pharmacy shelves contain natural ingredients. However, it is essential to remember that natural does not necessarily mean safe. Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health warns that dietary supplements that make medical claims must also contain certain words. Required words include the phrase, “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
According to Medical News Today, berberine is a chemical found naturally in plants that include goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric. Studies suggest this compound may be useful in treating conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. While this supplement contains natural ingredients, it may cause side effects, including stomach pain, constipation, and nausea. Before taking this powerful supplement, speak with your doctor to determine whether it may be safe and helpful for you.
Curcumin is the substance that gives the herb turmeric its characteristic golden yellow color. Some studies suggest curcumin may be beneficial in treating and preventing inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effects of this substance may also provide protection of the heart. Curcumin may be useful for treating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. However, the Arthritis Foundation warns that high doses of turmeric can thin the blood and irritate the stomach. Therefore, you should not take turmeric or curcumin if you have gall bladder disease, take blood thinners, are pregnant, or will be undergoing surgery.Related: Can Turmeric Supplements Damage Your Liver?
2. Red Yeast Rice
A supplement containing red yeast rice may be effective for lowering cholesterol. However, the National Institutes of Health lists several warnings about this potent substance. First of all, some red yeast rice supplements contain monacolin K, which the FDA classifies as a prescription drug. It can be impossible to determine whether a particular supplement contains more than trace amounts of monacolin K. Monacolin K can cause muscle pain or weakness, kidney damage, and liver toxicity. Furthermore, some red yeast rice products contain citrinin, which may cause kidney failure.
Garlic is not only tasty, but it also may have medicinal properties. This compound may be beneficial for decreasing cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, and preventing the common cold. Side effects of garlic supplementation may include bad breath, stomach upset, heartburn, body odor, and diarrhea. Other issues associated with garlic use may include bleeding and allergic reactions. As with any dietary supplement, consult your physician before using these products. In general, a wholesome, well-rounded diet offers the best benefit to your health.Related: 18 Amazing Uses for Garlic