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Dietary Supplements
Vitamins - Minerals - Acids - Herbs

A dietary supplement is intended to supply nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and herbal supplements that are missing or not consumed in sufficient quantity. Dietary supplement regulations require labeling as "dietary supplement" ensuring supplements are not misrepresented as a food, meal or diet. A dietary supplement must have one or more of the following ingredients:

Amino Acids
An essential amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized and therefore must be supplied in the diet. All essential amino acids may be obtained from plant sources, and even strict vegetarian diets can provide all dietary requirements, although most vegetarians may not be so thorough. Nine amino acids are generally regarded as essential for humans.
Vitamins are organic compounds that are required in tiny amounts for essential metabolic reactions in a living organism. Vitamins are bio-molecules that act both as catalysts and substrates in chemical reactions. When acting as a catalyst, vitamins are bound to enzymes and are called cofactors. Vitamins also act as coenzymes to carry chemical groups between enzymes. Until the 1900s, vitamins were obtained solely through food intake, and changes in diet could alter the types and amounts of vitamins ingested. Vitamins have been produced as commodity chemicals allowing supplementation of the dietary intake.
Dietary minerals are the chemical elements required by living organisms, other than the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. Some dieticians recommend ingesting specific foods that are enriched. Sometimes these "minerals" come from natural sources such as ground oyster shells. Sometimes minerals are added to the diet separately from food, such as mineral supplements, the most famous being iodine in "iodized salt." Dietary minerals classified as "macro mineral" are required in relatively large amounts and "micro minerals" or "trace minerals" are required relatively in minute amounts.
Herbs are seed-bearing plants without woody stems, which die down to the ground after flowering. They have a variety of uses including the green, leafy part of the plant, but herbal medicine makes use of the roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark, berries or other portions. Some herbs contain phytochemicals that when consumed in small quantities can be healthy, yet in large quantities can be toxic to the liver.

Vegetarianism and Veganism
Vegetarianism is the practice of not consuming any animals. Many vegetarians also choose to refrain from wearing clothing that has involved the death of animals, such as leather and fur. Veganism excludes all animal products from diet whether or not the production of clothing or items has involved the actual death of an animal including dairy, eggs, honey, wool, silk and down feathers.

There are a variety of different practices of vegetarianism:
  • Fruitarianism is a diet of only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant matter that can be gathered without harming the plant.
  • Macrobiotic Diet is a diet of mostly whole grains and beans. Not all macrobiotics are vegetarians as some consume fish.
  • Raw Veganism is a diet of fresh and uncooked fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
  • Dietary Veganism is where vegans don't use animal products of any kind, dietary vegans restrict their veganism to their diet.
  • Pescetarianism is a diet in which the only animals consumed are fish or other seafood.
  • Pollotarianism is a diet in which the only animals consumed are fowl.
  • Flexitarianism is a diet that consists primarily of vegetarian food, but that allows occasional exceptions.

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