Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs and other substances
The majority of adults in the United States take one or more dietary supplements either every single day or occasionally. Today’s dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbals and botanicals, proteins, enzymes, and many other products. Dietary supplements are available in a variety of forms: traditional tablets, capsules, and powders, in addition to drinks and energy bars. Popular supplements include vitamins D and E; minerals like calcium and iron; herbs for example echinacea and garlic; and specialty items like glucosamine, probiotics, and fish oils.
The Dietary Supplement Label All products called a dietary supplement have a Supplement Facts panel that lists the contents, amount of ctive ingredients per serving, and other added ingredients (like fillers, binders, and flavorings). The manufacturer suggests the meal, but you or your health care provider might choose that a different amount is more appropriate for you.
Dietary Supplements Effectiveness
Should you don’t eat a nutritious variety of foods, some supplements might help you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients. However, supplements can’t take the place of all of the foods that are important to a healthy diet. Good resources on eating well include the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Scientific evidence shows that some dietary health supplements are beneficial for overall health and for managing some health conditions. For example, calcium and vitamin D are important for keeping bones strong and reducing bone loss; folate decreases the risk of certain birth defects; and omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish oils might help many people with heart disease. Other supplements need more study to determine their value. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not determine whether dietary supplements are ffective before they are marketed.
Dietary Supplements Safety and Risk
Many supplements contain ingredients that can have strong effects within the body. Always be alert to the potential of unexpected side effects, especially when taking a new product. Supplements are most likely to cause side effects or harm when individuals take them instead of prescribed medicines or when individuals take many supplements mixed with. Some supplements can boost the risk of bleeding or, if an individual takes them before or after surgery, they are able to affect the person’s response to anesthesia. Dietary supplements may also interact with certain prescription medications in ways that might cause problems. Here are just a few examples:
• Vitamin K can reduce the ability of the blood thinner Coumadin to prevent blood from clotting.
• St. John’s wort can speed the breakdown of numerous drugs (including antidepressants and oral contraceptives) and thereby reduce these drugs’ effectiveness.
• Antioxidant supplements, like vitamins C and E, might lessen the effectiveness of some kinds of
Remember that some ingredients found in dietary supplements are put into a growing number of foods, including breakfast cereals and beverages. As a result, you may be getting good of these ingredients than you think, and more might not be better. Taking more than you need is always more costly and can also raise your chance of experiencing side effects. For example, getting an excessive amount of vitamin A can cause headaches and liver damage, reduce bone strength, and cause birth defects. Excess iron causes nausea and vomiting and damages the liver and other organs.
Be cautious about taking dietary supplements if you’re pregnant or nursing. Also, be careful about giving them (beyond a fundamental multivitamin/mineral product) to a child. Most dietary supplements haven’t been well tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children.
Keep in mind
Don’t decide to take dietary supplements to treat a health condition you have diagnosed yourself, without consulting a health care provider.
• Don’t take supplements instead of, or in combination with, prescribed medications without your health care provider’s approval.
• Seek advice from your health care provider about the supplements you take if you are scheduled to have any type of surgical procedure.
• The word “natural” doesn’t always mean safe. A supplement’s safety depends on many things, such as its chemical makeup, how it works in the body, how it is prepared, and the dose used. Certain herbs (for example, comfrey and kava) can break the liver.
• Before taking a dietary supplement, think about these questions:
• What are the potential health benefits of this dietary supplement product?
• What are its potential benefits for me?
• Performs this product have any safety risks?
• What is the proper dose to consider?
• How, when, and for how long should I take it?
Should you don’t know the answers to these questions, make use of the information sources listed in this brochure and talk to your health care providers.
Talk with Your Health Care Provider
Let your health care providers (including doctors, pharmacists, and dietitians) know which dietary supplements you’re taking so that you can discuss what’s best for your general health. Your health care provider can help you determine which supplements, if any, might be valuable for you.
Keep a record of the supplements you take in one place, just as you should be doing for all your medicines. Note the particular product name, the dose you take, how often you take it, and the reasons you use each one. You can also bring the products you use with you when you see your health care provider.
Federal Regulation of Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements are products intended to supplement the diet. They are not drugs and, therefore, aren’t intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure diseases. The FDA is the federal agency that oversees both dietary supplements and medicines.
Generally, the FDA regulations for dietary supplements aren’t the same as those for prescription or over-the-counter drugs.Unlike drugs, which must be approved by the FDA before they may be marketed, dietary supplements don’t require premarket review or approval by the FDA. While the supplement company is responsible for having evidence that their products are safe and the label claims are truthful and not misleading, they do not have to provide that evidence to the FDA before the product is marketed.
Dietary supplement labels may carry certain kinds of health-related claims. Manufacturers are permitted to say, for example, that the dietary supplement addresses a nutrient deficiency, supports health, or perhaps is linked to a particular body function (like immunity or heart health). Such a claim must be followed by the words, “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
Manufacturers must follow certain good manufacturing practices to ensure the identity, purity, strength, and composition of their products. If the FDA finds a product to be unsafe or else unfit for human consumption, it may take enforcement action to get rid of the product from the marketplace or use the manufacturer to voluntarily can remember the product.
Also, once a dietary supplement is on the market, the FDA monitors info on the product’s label and package insert to make sure that information about the supplement’s content is accurate and that any claims made for the merchandise are truthful and not misleading.