'Dietary Supplements'

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

We all want to live longer, be healthier and reduce our risk of chronic diseases. In some cases, that leads us to purchase dietary supplements, which can claim to do all of these things, including saving our memory. You should consider several things before purchasing and consuming a new supplement.

The level of scientific research to support marketing claims for supplements vary greatly depending on the product. Many supplement-related research studies were conducted on animals, but scientists do not have enough reliable research data to determine the impact dietary supplements have on humans. Many have not been tested in pregnant women, women who are nursing and children.

The manufacturing and distribution of dietary supplements are not as closely monitored by the Food and Drug Administration as prescription drugs. As a result, there is no set federal standard for supplement manufacturing and distribution. Any supplement you purchase may be very different than the product that was used in research studies.

Companies must provide evidence that their dietary supplements are safe to use and product labels must be truthful and not misleading. Supplement labels cannot claim that the product will diagnose, treat, cure, lessen the effects of or prevent any disease. It is difficult to know by looking at the label if the claim is supported by science or evaluated by the FDA. This is where understanding the label terminology can be tricky but is extremely important.

Let your health care providers, dentist, pharmacist, eye doctor and any other medical professionals know if you are taking a supplement of any kind as these could adversely interact with some prescription drugs. It is best to experiment with plant-derived supplements in their natural form by incorporating them into your cooking before purchasing a supplement. More information on nutrition-related topics is available at the Pulaski County Extension office.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

This makes a delicious, healthy salad, and can be very satisfying as a one meal dish. It doesn't take a long time to make. If someone in your family must have a meat with each meal, you can top the salad with grilled chicken, strips of ham, turkey or other meat products.

Spinach-Apple Salad

5 ounces fresh spinach

4 large apples

2 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup slivered almonds, toasted (see directions below)

½ cup golden raisins


2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon finely chopped garlic

Wash and dry fresh spinach leaves. Break of stems, and tear the spinach into small pieces. Core and chop the apples into bite sized pieces. Do not peel. Mix together the spinach, apples, cheese, almonds and raisins. When ready to serve, in a small bowl, stir together dressing ingredients and pour over salad mixture. Toss and serve.

(To toast almonds spray a small pan with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat; spread the almonds over the pan and heat for about 30 seconds, stir. Continue to heat almonds for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring often for even browning. Remove from heat when almonds are fragrant and turning golden brown around the edges. Pour the almonds on a plate, and allow to cool before adding them to the salad.) This will make 10-one cup servings, for 150 calories, 6g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 17g sugar, 3g protein.

Events at the Pulaski County Extension Office

This Tuesday, February 11, we will be making "Treats for our Sweet," at the Extension Office. The class begins at 1:00 o'clock. It is free to homemakers and $5 to others. Call the office to register at 679-6361.

Learn how to make beautiful cards you can send to your favorite people, and the class is free. Denise Salter is the instructor for the Card Class that meets the 4th Monday in each month. Join us on Monday, February 24 at 10:00 o'clock at the Extension Office.

"Gardening Options for Everyone" will be the homemaker's lesson for the month of March. The leader training to learn all about "Gardening" will be held on Monday, February 24, starting at 1:00 o'clock at the Extension Office. This class is opened to everyone.

The Calendar Food Class will be held on Friday, February 28 at 11:30 this month. Mark the new date on your calendar. Call the office to register.

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