Whether it’s a vitamin tablet or an herbal supplements – like Prime Male reviewed by MyPill – there are many choices on the market. As these are classified as food, the FDA doesn’t have a lot of control over them. That makes it very important to know whether or not a supplement is right for you. Here are some pros and cons to consider before buying your next supplement.

Pros

Health Benefits:

A supplement may help provide health benefits. Studies indicate that garlic may help improve blood pressure numbers. Many men have stated that saw palmetto makes symptoms of an enlarged prostate better. Under the right conditions, supplements are helpful in staying healthy.

All Natural:

This is a “pro” but it has a caveat. A natural product may be the best way to get the benefits of supplements. These products aren’t likely to be found in a capsule or tablet; it’ll take a teabag if you want it to be truly all natural. On the other hand, there are a lot of “all natural” things that can kill you.

Improved Nutrition:

I don’t know anyone who eats exactly the right things all of the time. We try, but it isn’t easy. We’d just about have to dedicate our lives to preparing and eating everything it takes to get all of every nutrient. That means vitamin and mineral supplements can play a role in keeping us healthy.

Helps Specific Problems: Supplements can help specific problems. Woman may require calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis. Women of childbearing age may need iron.

Cons

Side Effects:

Everything we ingest has side effects. Sometimes we want these side effects and sometimes we don’t. Taking Niacin can cause flushing, which can be very annoying. Licorice raises blood sugar and blood pressure, which can be dangerous.

Interactions:

Herbs can interact with each other, prescription/over the counter drugs and even medical conditions. St. John’s Wort interacts with blood pressure medications. It should never be taken by someone with bipolar disorder as it can make the condition worse.

Overdose:

The theory that if one is good, two is better is a dangerous one with supplements. Weight loss supplements are a good example. Many contain caffeine, which can have an affect on blood pressure and our brains. It can cause the hands to shake and vision blur.

Not Always Safe:

There are two problems that fit this category. The first is that some supplements simply aren’t safe. Blue cohosh is known to cause heart problems, as is ephedra. The latter is off the market for most people but still allowed in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The other part is that herbs that are safe for some of us, they aren’t safe for others. Echinacea is a good example. People with immune disorders shouldn’t take it because it could be dangerous.

The best thing to do when considering a supplement is to talk to the doctor or someone trained in the use of the supplements. A qualified herbal practitioner can help with herbs. Some supplement stores have people trained to understand both benefits and risks of these products. Please, don’t go and buy a supplement without checking to see if it’s right for you.