The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently been very active. The FDA has concentrated on educating people about the safety of dietary supplements in addition to the agency’s work to assure the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations and therapies.
The FDA wants to educate individuals on how supplements are regulated and the advantages and disadvantages of using them through a new program called Supplement Your Knowledge. The program will also emphasize training medical professionals and providing resources for them to counsel patients on the use of these goods.
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What Are Supplements?
To complement a person’s diet, supplements are consumed in the form of pills, powders, liquids, candies, and bars. Some supplements can aid in enhancing or maintaining general health or supplying the body with the critical nutrients it needs each day.
Typical dietary supplements consist of:
- Multivitamins and vitamins
- Minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium
- Botanical substances like curcumin and caffeine
- Amino acids, such as glutamine and tryptophan
- Live microorganisms, sometimes known as probiotics
Over 57% of persons over 20 used a dietary supplement in the 30 days before taking a survey, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adults most frequently utilized multivitamin-mineral supplements, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids as dietary supplements.
Methods For Approving Supplements
While some dietary supplements, according to the FDA, may be good for your health, they can also have major negative effects. Furthermore, until dietary supplements are made available to the general public, the FDA does not have the jurisdiction to approve their labeling.
Instead, businesses are in charge of guaranteeing the safety and accurate labeling of the supplements they offer. Only when a supplement is deemed to be unsafe, unlawful, or mislabeled does the FDA become involved.
According to Douglas Stearn, deputy director for regulatory affairs in the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, “it’s important for consumers to have a comprehensive understanding of dietary supplements as well as the ability to identify and safely use supplements that are beneficial to their health.”
Dietary Supplement Dangers
Dietary supplement use carries potential dangers, such as adverse reactions and side effects that can range in severity from discomfort to serious. These negative effects could be brought on by taking too much of certain supplements, mixing supplements, or substituting supplements for prescription drugs.
Following supplement use, adverse responses or side effects can include:
- Severe, ongoing diarrhea, and vomiting
- Having trouble urinating
- Painful joints and muscles
- Chest pain
And by study results presented in the New England Journal of Medicine utilizing information from 63 emergency rooms collected between 2004 and 2013:
- Adverse events associated with dietary supplements were responsible for 23,005 emergency department visits annually and 2,154 hospitalizations
- Micronutrients were associated with 31.8% of negative occurrences (vitamins and minerals)
- 71.8% of supplement-related adverse events involving palpitations, chest discomfort, or tachycardia were brought on by energy or weight-loss products (an abnormally fast heartbeat)
- Choking accounted for 37.6% of all supplement-related adverse event visits among those aged 65 and older
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Tips For Taking Supplements
Anyone thinking about taking dietary supplements is urged by the FDA to thoroughly study the product labels and see a doctor first. Each nutritional ingredient in the product must be listed on the label, together with the serving size, servings per container, and quantity of each ingredient per serving.
If you feel a supplement is making you feel sick, stop taking it immediately and contact your doctor.