Supplements Info & News

Are Dietary Supplements Safe and Effective?

Dietary supplements for some are a food intake, while others categorize them as drugs. Food and Drug Administration acknowledged dietary supplements as food not drugs. Many people are using Dietary Supplement to be physically fit and good physical shape. But the question is, are dietary supplements safe?

Some studies show that some dietary supplements may not be safe for all consumers. In the US, the FDA sets a law that requires manufacturers of food supplements to seek FDA authorization before launching their products. It requires information signifying that the ingredients used are safe.

The Good Manufacturing Policy (GMP) was implemented by FDA to ensure that supplements will be safe to use. It is a quality system covering the manufacture and testing of active pharmaceutical ingredients, diagnostics, foods, pharmaceutical products, and medical devices.1 But it is not a 100% guarantee that there are no side effects in taking those supplements.

Before launching the product, it also needs to be tested and properly and truthfully labeled to make sure that it is safe and effective considering that many people are taking these supplements.

It is worth mentioning that the FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering “conventional” foods and drugs. It can only take action act against an unsafe dietary supplement after it has reached the market.2 In short, nutritional supplement manufacturers largely police themselves.

All manufacturers tag their products as quality, safe and effective. They often, if not always, say made sure that all they manufacturer had gone through a lot procedures and tests before they launch it. The reputable ones actually do follow rigorous sets of tests before putting a product in the market. This is one reason that brand names are usually safer to go with.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) requires a manufacturer or distributor to notify the FDA if it intends to market a dietary supplement with a “new dietary ingredient” .2

Issues about dietary supplements can be complex. You are talking about your safety and health here. According to a medical research, dietary supplements need to be rechecked before taking it out of the market. Committees have to make sure that Dietary supplement will be free of contamination and some other health risking issues.

Consider too, that even “harmless” vitamins, particularly the fat-soluble ones, can actually be toxic when taken in excess. An example is Vitamin A, which has been shown to cause headache chapped lips, fatigue and even liver damage among other negative effects if taken in excessive doses.

Some manufacturers make false advertising about their products; a perfect example is one dietary supplement which is sold in the US which had been declared as a cancer treatment. It has not been proven effective but because of the advertisements a lot of consumers take it thinking that it is a perfect cure for their illness.

So before buying any supplements, make sure they will not be harmful. Do some research, consult your physician in an effort to answer the basic question; are dietary supplements safe?


1. Wikipedia: Good Manufacturing Practice

2. FDA: Dietary Supplements

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