Always consult a health care professional before adding a supplement to your diet in the following cases:
• If you’re on chronic or acute medication, such as heart medications, diuretics, blood thinners, aspirin, steroids, antiretrovirals and antibiotics.
• If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Typically, safety and efficacy for such patients have not been tested, so ensure that what you are taking is safe for your baby by consulting your doctor. Pre-natal vitamins are especially formulated for the needs of these women.
• If you’re getting treatment for cancer or have had cancer, as some supplements can make treatments less effective.
• If you’re going to have surgery, because supplements such vitamin E, garlic, ginkgo biloba and ginseng, can cause bleeding. Supplements which act as sedatives, like kava and valerian, can increase the effects of the anaesthesia during surgery.
• If you’re younger than 18 or older than 65. Few supplements have been tested in children or the dosage hasn’t been established, while older adults may metabolize medications differently.