Dietary supplements and consumer safety
Dietary supplements are easily obtained at grocery stores, pharmacies, and health food stores, or by
ordering them on the internet. They do not replace food, but can be used when a person requires higher
levels of vitamins, minerals, or amino acids. These supplements are found in pills, tablets, capsules, and
liquid varieties. People take dietary supplements for reasons relating to their health.
According to the law, the makers of dietary supplements must not make the assertion that the use of a
particular supplement will lead to demonstrable results in the treatment, prevention, or cure of a disease.
What the law does permit, however, is for a manufacturer to suggest a correlation between a person’s
overall good health and his or her use of a supplement. Natural substances are the most common
ingredients in dietary supplements, and sometimes exist in medicine too. Many of these substances have
been used by humans for centuries because of their health and medicinal value. Willow bark tea, for
example, has long been used to treat fever patients.
In a recent report called ‘The Dietary Supplements Regulatory and Market Outlook,’ it was suggested that
the dietary supplement industry in the USA may expand at a rate of 3.8% each year between 2010 and
According to the current good manufacturing practices (CGMP) Final Rule, dietary supplements
are to be made using consistent processes which result in a product that meets high standards of
quality control. The CMGP Final Rule was issued by the FDA (US Food and Drug
Administration) to help make sure that all dietary supplements available to consumers are free
from contamination and labeled properly.
The scope of the Final Rule is not as all-encompassing as it might be. For instance, the FDA does not
seek to prohibit consumers from acquiring particular dietary supplements, and it has not sought to place
restrictions on clinical trials or other studies about the effect of supplements on a person’s health. Instead,
the FDA has simply sought to regulate the proper manufacture of dietary supplements, thereby reassuring
consumers that the products they are using are fully reliable with respect to composition, identity, purity,
Does the use of dietary supplements require much precaution?
It is best not to begin using dietary supplements before getting the advice of a pharmacist, dietician, or
doctor. Supplements can sometimes be taken in combination with other treatments under a physician’s
supervision, but they are to replace conventional medicinal remedies. Women who are pregnant or breast-
feeding should be extra cautious about the use of dietary supplements. Supplements should only be
purchased from reputable manufacturers.
In some instances, the use of dietary supplements can result in them interacting with other drugs, as well
as inducing allergic reactions and other side effects.
Author: Beth James
Pharmaceutical compliance resource website: http://compliance-insight1.com/
This article is free for republishing provided no modifications are made and the writer`s name
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