What is a dietary supplement?


Dietary supplements can be considered as concentrated sources of nutrients. They are used for physiological or nutritional purposes, in particular to compensate for potential dietary deficiencies. This use often concerns people who follow special diets. However, their uses are broader and more widespread still.

What is a dietary supplement?

As its name suggests, a food supplement is not intended to replace a regular diet. He completes it. All Among these dietary supplements, some are more natural than others. It is the latter to which we recommend that you turn as much as possible. And your health.

Since March 2006, the French government has laid down a precise definition of what a food supplement is. This framework also makes it possible to define what it must contain. Food supplements are therefore considered as foodstuffs, having a physiological or nutritional effect, whether combined or alone ( 1 ). A supplement of this type must always be in the form of doses: capsules, tablets, capsules, lozenges, ampoules, sachets.

Characteristics of food supplements

It does not replace a varied and balanced diet. It is often specific to certain situations, periods of life, objectives or  menopause, childhood, etc.). Self-medication is strongly discouraged, due to the risk of overdose existing with products.


Food supplements are recent products and their entry into the market stems from the health problems that have plagued the last centuries. An example of this is scurvy, a disease linked to a lack of vitamin C. Other diseases are also involved: bone deformities, rickets, etc. Supplements have therefore been developed to prevent these health problems. Today, they have several vocations: well-being, form, beauty, tone… And there are thousands of them, commercially available.

The primary role of a dietary supplement: supplementing the diet

Our body uses what we ingest as fuel. This allows it to make organs such as muscles and the heart work properly, but also our brain. Both supplements and food therefore play a fundamental role. They affect both our physical and mental health. Their effects also affect our level of stress or our emotional well-being.

The primary role of the dietary supplement is to supplement the diet. For this, it provides the body with a nutritional gain, which depends on its composition. These can be vitamins , mineral salts , trace elements , antioxidants , amino acids , fatty acids , etc. These are then offered alone or in combination in a complementary dose.

Natural dietary supplement versus synthetic supplement

Natural supplements come from the plants, fruits, vegetables and foods that nature provides. Synthetic supplements are developed in laboratories. Also, be aware that natural food supplements are a way of administering (herbal therapy) ( 2 ). Plants and some of their parts (flowers, fruits, roots, etc.) are therefore used, which are reduced to powder and incorporated into capsules, to optimize their ingestion and the assimilation of their active ingredients ( 3 ) . No change is made to their composition or to their content of active ingredients and other nutrients. We then choose the food supplements according to the claims lent by science to their consumption .Why is it essential to choose natural food supplements? Simply because they offer us the best of what nature produces. It is in the laboratory that manufacturers develop synthetic food supplements. They most often contain nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, etc.). But rare are those who also integrate the active principles of plants. However, it is these active ingredients that make food supplements so interesting. If you want to enjoy the real benefits of plants and not be satisfied with nutrients, you must choose natural food supplements. In addition, natural food supplements are healthier for health.

The active ingredients, at the origin of the benefits of food supplements

If food supplements are effective, it is above all because they contain active ingredients. In natural products, these active substances are contained in plants, vegetables, fruits, etc.

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