Dietary supplements are defined by the FDA as products that are intended to add additional nutritional value to the diet and may include some or all of the following ingredients alone or in some combination: minerals, vitamins, amino acids, herbals and botanicals, and more. For an exhaustive list by the FDA, click here. Another defining characteristic of dietary supplements is that they are intended for ingestion. Supplements come in many forms. Pills and chewable, powders and liquids, are just a sampling of the forms they can take. Supplements exist in many forms and are created to assist with multiple conditions. However, they cannot make any claims to diagnose or treat any disease nor can they claim to be preventatives. This makes the supplements very tricky for consumers. How do you know which products are safe? How can you be sure that the products you are using are necessary and effective for you?
The dietary supplement industry has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. The New England Journal of Medicine notes that the number of dietary supplements available to the public grew from around 4000 in 1994 to approximately 55,000 just 12 years later. This growth demonstrates the public’s desire for optional health and nutrition. However, there is a downside to the supplement industry. The companies selling supplements cannot make medical claims such as “lowers LDL” or “cures diabetes” and other statements, only drugs, which are regulated by the FDA, are able to make these claims. This can make supplementation very tricky for the average consumer. You see, dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Dietary supplements in all forms are considered “foods” and not medicinal by the Food and Drug Administration. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 was created during the explosion of supplement usage to provide some sort of regulatory procedures for labeling. Here is where things get dicey. The FDA does not test claims made by supplements prior to hitting the market. Dietary supplement companies can market and sell their products without being tested for efficacy. This means that a supplement can propose a certain effect from usage but this does not mean that this is true. The FDA does, however, regulate ingredients. Companies are responsible for the quality of ingredients they use and if a new ingredient is added, they must alert the FDA. Companies are also responsible for correct and accurate labeling.
If this sounds confusing to you, that is because it is. There are some things that you can do as a consumer to help protect yourself against sub-par supplements. First and foremost, chose only the highest quality pharmaceutical grade supplements. Did you know that Fountain of You only sells supplements of this caliber on our online store? Our medical professionals are committed to your health and well-being and part of this means only using the absolute best supplements. This is your life we are talking about here. Next, don’t fall victim to over-the-top claims. If a supplement makes promises and guarantees, chances are they are not worth your money or time. Also, “natural” isn’t necessarily better nor does it guarantee safety. Do your homework and check with your physician before making supplements a part of your routine.
Fountain of You in Melbourne, FL has the expertise and staff to assist you with any questions you may have about dietary supplements. We sell the highest quality pharmaceutical grade supplements available and create a plan based on your individual needs.