Dietary supplements

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Dietary supplements


Nutrition is the preparation and assimilation of the right nutritional food so that one can be healthy. The major nutrients that are needed by the body include proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, minerals and water.  Health professional encourage the intake of a nutritious diet as it decreases the rate of chronic diseases, decrease rate of obesity and being overweight and decrease the rate of micronutrient deficiency (Wang et al, 2). A poor diet which may not have the named nutrients can be detrimental to the health of a person and can cause deficiency diseases such as Kwashiorkor and scurvy among others. It can also cause health threatening conditions such as obesity and also cause chronic disease such as diabetes.

Nutritional guidelines recommend dietary supplements to supplement nutritional foods although they recommend that nutritional needs should be met primarily through ones diet. However, some people might need dietary supplements so as to get nutrients that they might be lacking. Dietary supplements main goal is to supplement or provide nutrients to the body that might not be consumed in the right quantities by a person (National institute of health 2011). They are not intended to be food substitutes as they might not replicate all the nutrients and benefits that are found in whole foods. Whole foods offer greater benefits when compared to dietary supplements as they offer greater nutrition since they contain different varieties of micronutrients that the body might need which are absent in dietary supplements, whole food also contain essential dietary fibers which can prevent some diseases these fibers however, might not be present in dietary supplements (Wang et al, 3). Whole foods also have protective substances such as phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables that help prevent against chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases. Others contain antioxidants which can slow down oxidations. In spite of the benefits of whole foods, dietary guidelines  recommend dietary supplements in the following cases; pregnant women are advised to get folic acid from whole food or from dietary supplements to supplement their intake of folic acid from foods that contain folic, pregnant women are also recommended to take a prenatal vitamin that has iron or a different iron supplement,  adults who are 50years and older should take foods that contain vitamin B-12 or  take a multivitamin that has B-12 or a different B-12 supplement (National institute of health 2011).  Adults that are 65 or older who are not in nursing homes or in assisted living quarters are recommended to take 800 IU of vitamin D everyday so as to reduce their risk of falls. a dietary supplement as defined by dietary supplement health and educational act is a product other than tobacco whose intention is to supplement diet, has one or more dietary ingredient, is intended to be taken by mouth and should be labeled on the front label as a dietary supplement (National institute of health 2011). Dietary supplements are minerals, vitamins, herbs, fatty acids, fiber, and amino acids among other substances. They can be taken in form of pills, capsules, energy bars, powered and as drinks. Dietary supplements are regulated by the U.S food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are regulated differently from common drugs and food. Research has shown that some dietary supplements used by people or patients are beneficial for their health. Research in form of adult surveys shows that more than half of adults in the U.S take some form of dietary supplements to promote their health and wellness and prevent and treat some form of diseases such as pain from chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is a physiological process that plays a protective role to protect the body against assaults which can be from a physical injury, damaged cells, toxic cells, infection or from other causes (National institute of health 2011). Inflammation in such a case is a good sign that help the body start the healing process. However inflammation cases a problem when it becomes chronic in which it occurs without cause or when an overactive inflammatory response occurs. This can cause damage to the body in form of causing autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, heart diseases, back pain among others. Dietary factors are one of the lead causes of inflammation in a person’s body. A deficiency of anti-oxidations compared to the oxidants in the body can lead to inflammation. Lack of essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6 and excess saturated and hydrogenated fats can also lead to inflammation, allergies and food intolerances can also cause inflammation (National institute of health 2011). Some of the chronic diseases that are faced by majority of patients are caused by inflammation examples; atherosclerosis is caused by the inflammation of the  blood vessels,  arthritis is caused by the inflammation of the joints, diabetes produces inflammation due to high glucose levels, gingivitis is caused by the inflammation of the gums, asthma is due to inflammation of the lungs, bronchitis is due to the inflammation of the bronchia, Alzheimer’s disease as a result of inflammation of the brain, eczema is due to inflammation of the skin, chron’s diseases is caused by the inflammation of the bowel among others(National institute of health 2011). Most of these diseases cause inflammation pain to their patients and this negatively interferes with their daily lives.

Problem statement

Ante inflammatory medicines or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) have been used on patients to reduce inflammation pain and have been shown to work well since they block enzymes that  lead to pain and swelling. However these medications do have some side effects which can be severe to the patient of inflammatory chronic pain some of the side effects include bleeding, stomach pains and serious thromboembolic events among others (Wang et al, 4). Their use is also limited as they deal with the symptoms and not the root cause of the problem. Due to this there have been increased interests in dietary supplements that can be used as a remedy of chronic pain attributed to inflammatory pain. Some of these dietary supplements that have been used for centuries in patients of anti-inflammatory chronic pain include Omega -3 EFAs (fish oil), white willow bark, curcumin (turmeric), green tea, pycnogenol (maritime pine bark), Boswellia serrata Resin (Frankincense) and Capsaicin (chili pepper) (Wang et al, 5).The result of using these anti- inflammation supplements is that they can eliminate the root cause of the inflammation and not just mask the symptoms. If well-crafted, dietary supplements used together with a suitable diet can help prevent, manage and in some cases reverse many inflammation conditions in a patient, given the growing evidence that has shown that dietary supplements are beneficial in improving the nutritional quality of a person. Dietary supplements have become increasingly popular in the intervention to reduce and treat pain resulting from chronic inflammatory process due to their relatively few side effects. However, the use of these dietary supplements requires knowledge of their biological action and any side effects of using them if any.

Objective of the study

The objective of this research is to determine the use of three commonly used dietary supplements in form of natural anti-inflammatory compounds as a remedy of chronic inflammatory pain. The three natural anti-inflammatory compounds that will be used for this research are; Omega-3, curcumin and green tea (National institute of health 2011). This paper will also research on the perceived benefits of using these three natural anti-inflammatory compounds as a form of dietary supplement in the relief of chronic pain. The research will also compare the severity of side effects between the use of NSAID and the three natural anti-inflammatory compounds.

Research design

The research will be conducted by reviewing of relevant literature from online and library sources. Published studies that have shown the effects of using the three naturally anti-inflammatory compounds as part of dietary supplement on inflammatory chronic pain patients will be reviewed. Additional literature will also be reviewed to analyze the effects of using NSAID and compare the severity of these effects to the use of natural anti-inflammatory compounds.

Omega 3

Omega 3 or fish oil has been shown to be an excellent anti-inflammatory supplement and is used to help in the treatment of various chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (Almekinders 384). According to experts, it is important for one to know the ration of omega 3 to omega 6 ingestion as this can help in the fight against inflammation. Fish oil that contains EPA and DPA components of omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to be important and effective for relief from various inflammatory pains.


Curcumin or turmeric is a naturally occurring yellow pigment that id derived from a flowering tree of the ginger family. It has been used extensively in the treatment of various diseases such as cancers, arthritis and asthma among others (Banerjee et al, 224). Turmeric can be obtained by cooking the bright yellow turmeric root or one can get turmeric supplements from various shops.

Green tea

Green tree have been shown to have cancer and cardiovascular preventive properties since it has antioxidant properties. It has been recognized recently that it can be used for the treatment of arthritic diseases as an anti-inflammatory agent (Malesky 2012).

Significance of the study

This study is important as it will reveal if there are any potential benefits of using natural anti-inflammatory compounds to supplement diet of patients who have chronic inflammatory pain. The study will also compare severity of side effects between natural anti-inflammatory compounds and NSAID. The results of the study can be used to evaluate if natural anti-inflammatory remedies can be proposed as a viable solution to remedy chronic inflammatory pain.  The results of the study will also be a useful resource for dietarians who have patients with chronic pain as a result of inflammatory; the dietarians will provide a guide on the right dietary supplements to take for such patients based on the result of this study. This study will also be an important resource as it will add to the knowledge of the use of dietary supplements to treat and prevent some ailments. The study can also be used by other researchers as a reference point for those who would like to study this topic further or conduct research on studies related to this topic.

Work cited

Almekinders Leo. “Anti-inflammatory treatment of muscular injuries in sport. An update of recent studies.”SportsMed28 (1999): 383-388.

Banerjee M, Tripathi LM, Srivastava VM, Puri A, and Shukla R. “Modulation of inflammatory mediators by ibuprofen and curcumin treatment during chronic inflammation in rat. ImmunopharmacoL.” Immunotoxicol 25 (2003): 213–24.

Calder PC. “N-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation, and inflammatory diseases.”Am J Clin Nutr83 (2006): 1505S–19.

Malesky Gale. 10 anti-inflammatory supplements that work. Live in the know, 26 Sept. 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

National institute of health. Dietary supplements. National institute of health, 24 June 2011. Web.1 Dec. 2014.

Wang C, Chung M, Lichtenstein A, Balk E, Kupelnick B, Devine D, et al. “Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular disease.”Evid Rep Technol Assess 94(2004):1–8.

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