The use of dietary supplements has steadily increased throughout the years with reports estimating sales in the billions of dollars. Dietary supplements fall into three categories: vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal supplements and performance enhancing supplements.
Vitamin and mineral supplements include products such as multivitamins, B-vitamins, calcium supplements and prenatal vitamins. Most people can meet their nutritional needs for vitamins and minerals by eating a variety of foods, however, in some cases supplementation may be necessary. Pregnant women, strict vegetarians, those who are lactose intolerant and the elderly may benefit from certain supplements; nevertheless, it is important to speak with a doctor to find the correct supplementation and dosage to prevent side effects and drug interactions as too much of some supplements can be toxic.