Get The Lowdown On Dietary Supplements: Keep An Eye Out For False Advertising
Since it's not always possible to eat foods with all of the proper vitamins, minerals and other healthful nutrients on a daily basis, many people use dietary supplements as a shortcut. If you're not familiar with these products but are considering purchasing them, it may well behoove you to do a little bit of research and learn some more.
First, it's important to go over the basics. The Office of Dietary Supplements, a department of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), classifies them as a product intended to complement one's diet, containing one or more vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals or other substances. They must be designed for oral consumption and ingestion, and labeled as a dietary supplement on the front panel of their packaging.
Unlike foods, beverages and pharmaceuticals, supplements are not specifically regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, certain aspects of the marketing process for these products are subject to the oversight of this agency, according to the NIH.
All types of claims that are made in the advertising or labeling of dietary supplements must be accurate. Two of these claim categories, health and nutrient content claims, must be evaluated and approved by the FDA.
The third category, structure and function claims, does not require FDA approval, but the agency must be made aware of such claims 30 days after products hit store shelves. However, labels of such dietary supplements must include a notice informing potential buyers that any claims on the packaging haven't received FDA examination and that the product has no documented, quantifiable or well-known medical benefits.
All legally marketable dietary supplements must list information about their manufacturers and list their active and inactive ingredients, in addition to providing specific directions for proper use. Read the labels carefully next time you're thinking about getting one of these products, and stay away if anything seems suspicious.
How do you feel about dietary supplements? Are you interested in them or do you have some doubts?