Debate: The pros and cons of food supplements
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National Canter for Eating Disorders, Athens, Greece
Athens Euroclinic Hospital, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A31
Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, herbal extracts, enzymes, protein and amino acids. They come in many forms like capsules, tablets, powders, liquids, gummies and recently as oral sprays for a better bioavailability. Dietary supplement labels may include certain types of health-related claims approved by the EFSA. Many people take dietary supplements to fill in the nutritional gaps in their diet. Some supplementation has also become an accepted part of modern healthcare practices. This includes, for example, the role of calcium and vitamin D supplements in maintaining healthy bone density and the role of folic acid supplements in preventing certain birth defects. Also the involvement of the immune system in the Covid-19 era opened the opportunity for the use of nutritional supplements with antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activity. The number and quality of studies on dietary supplements is a little bit uneven. Many existing studies are observational, without any control groups. This could make the findings questionable. RCTs often generate results that are totally different from those of observational studies. Certain supplements, like magnesium and vitamin D, have enjoyed being the subject of much research, so there’s a lot more hard data available to analyze on those. Other supplements don’t have loads of studies backing them, so there are still pretty big question marks about their effectiveness. In the debate Evangelos Zoumbaneas take a stand challenging the need for additional nutritional preparations against Konstantinos Xenos where he will defend the need for the use of specialized dietary supplements, under specific conditions.

The decision on the necessity of dietary supplements should be decided by the health care providers based on the individual’s overall health and lifestyle.

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