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Are food supplements required along with a normal diet?

Q: I am 38 years old. Recently a doctor had advised, on television, to take food supplements along with a normal diet since the normal daily diet we consume is not enough for our body. Kindly let me know if this necessary. Could you please suggest some food supplements available in the market? Also, do these have any side effects?

A:Vitamins and minerals are substances your body needs in small but steady amounts for normal growth, function and health. Dietary vitamin supplements aren't meant to be food substitutes, as they can’t replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. But dietary supplements can still play a role in health by complementing your regular diet if you have trouble getting enough nutrients. Before you take any supplement tell your doctor if you are planning to use a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. Please allow your doctor to prescribe a supplement for you.

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