A balanced diet is very important and getting enough vitamins is also vital. Dietary supplements encompass a wide range of products that include vitamins, minerals, herbal products, tissue extracts and other compounds. Many dietary supplements, which doctors refer, are extremely helpful in preventing illness; for example, folic acid can prevent birth defects, and calcium and vitamin D can prevent fractures, however, not all supplements are effective. There are thousands of supplements, sold worldwide, from which some are effective and some are not. Even worse, some might actually cause more harm than good. Little is known about the safety of supplements, all supplements are harmless until proven otherwise.

Consumers should be careful when purchasing supplements. Not only dietary supplements should be used but for an overall healthy lifestyle regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and visiting a healthcare professional regularly is also necessary.

TAHIRA SULEMAN GAZIANI,

Karachi, April 8.