Common Sense About Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements may help your health, but they may also threaten your health. However, FDA does not have the authority to conduct an examination of the effectiveness and safety of dietary supplements before they are marketed.

You may have heard of and used these supplements and may even recommend them to friends or family. Although some dietary supplements are well understood and determined, many require further research.

Common Sense About Dietary Supplements

Before you decide to take these supplements, follow the doctor’s advice to achieve a balance between your diet and your individual’s needs.

So what is a dietary supplement? Dietary supplements include amino acids, minerals, vitamins, herbs and enzymes. It generally takes the form of liquids, capsules, tablets, gels and powders.

Taking certain supplements can help to obtain important substances needed by the body, and can also reduce the risk of disease. However, we need to be clear about two points. We must not use supplements as a whole meal. We also need to eat a variety of foods. Another point is that you should not blindly take nutritional supplements. You should follow your doctor’s advice.

At the same time, dietary supplements have risks,many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations and hurt or complicate your health. For example, the following actions could lead to harmful – even life-threatening – consequences.

1.Using supplements with medicines (whether prescription or over-the-counter).

2.Some supplements can also have unwanted effects before, during, and after surgery. So, be sure to inform your healthcare provider, including your pharmacist about any supplements you are taking.

3.Combining supplements.

4.Substituting supplements for prescription medicines.

5.Taking too much of some supplements, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, or iron.

Who is responsible for the safety of dietary supplements? The manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements are responsible for making sure their products are safe BEFORE they go to market.

If the dietary supplement contains a NEW ingredient, manufacturers must notify FDA about that ingredient prior to marketing. However, the notification will only be reviewed by FDA (not approved) and only for safety, not effectiveness.

Manufacturers are required to produce dietary supplements in a quality manner and ensure that they do not contain contaminants or impurities, and are accurately labeled according to current Good Manufacturing Practice and labeling regulations.

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