Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dietary Supplement: A Brief History

History has it that the ancient civilizations used some form of a dietary supplement for a variety of reasons. In ancient China, people believed that supplements could promote good health and at the same time cure certain illnesses. These supplements were made from natural herbs and even extracts from animal parts. Apart from ancient China, natural supplements from herbs and plants were also widely used in Egypt, the Mediterranean region, and among the Indian civilizations of North and South America. It is safe to assume that the use of natural dietary supplements during the ancient period was widespread.

Today, supplements are easier to obtain; and they come in various formulations and packaging. You can easily find a bottle of dietary supplement in any local pharmacy or convenience shop. You can even find supplements being retailed online. These are the major factors why the number of supplement users has grown considerably around the world. Because of the exposure to massive advertising, stronger buying power, and advanced access to health information, you may assume that people in advanced industrialized countries would be the top consumers of dietary health supplements. However, such assumption is inaccurate because according to statistics, Asians are still the top consumers of these supplements.

In fact, dietary supplement consumption is very high in countries like Thailand and China. The majority of Thais, for example, regularly take supplements in the forms of multivitamins and nutraceuticals (for weight loss). In China, however, Eastern forms of supplements are more popular than the Western-manufactured dietary pills.

The high number of supplement usage in these parts of the world can be attribute to the Asians fondness for flk remedies. Hence, people have no issues in taking modern dietary supplements because they have been accustomed to taking herbal medicines. Since the ancient period, people were already taking dietary health supplements. Nonetheless, please note that different cultures have varying views on how these supplements affect the body. Some think that a dietary supplement could promote over-all good health believe that its use is limited to losing weight fast.


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