After you have selected your supplements with the help of the above information, the following guidelines can help you to use those supplements in the proper manner (that is, so you optimize both safety and effectiveness):
- Remember that a dietary supplement is just that—meaning that it is meant to be added to an otherwise healthy diet. It is not meant to substitute for a balanced diet or to make up for a poor diet.
- Follow the dosage recommendations on the package. The recommended dosage is important for safety and effectiveness—especially for herbals and other supplements that combine multiple ingredients. Don't make the mistaken assumption that if one tablet is recommended per day, two or three will be even better.
- Keep all dietary supplements in a safe place—away from heat and light that may accelerate their breakdown, and away from children who may accidentally ingest them.
- Talk to your health-care provider about any dietary supplements you are taking. If you are on any form of prescription or over-the-counter medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist before using any supplements.