The term dietary supplements is often used in the fields of conventional, natural, and integrative medicine to describe a category of over-the-counter vitamins, minerals, herbs, and homeopathic remedies. It is estimated that some 45 to 68 percent of American adults use supplements in some form, often with the idea that such use will prevent or cure disease, provide a competitive edge in sports, or complement a healthy lifestyle. Increasingly, even conventional physicians have begun suggesting supplements to their patients, particularly those products that have undergone clinical studies with positive results, such as simple multivitamin and mineral formulas and omega-3 fatty acids. The very nature of the word supplement indicates that it does not replace adequate nutrition from whole foods. Several studies indicate that conservative approaches ...

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