Amanda McCombs, ATC
DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM)
National surveys taken by the Center of Disease Control just prior to 2007 show that more than 50% of Americans take some form of dietary supplement, the most common being a multi-vitamin. Due to the rise in the availability of supplements, it is important to understand the regulations placed on supplement manufactures and the safety of the products before consuming them.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Educational Act require dietary supplement manufactures to provide safe and properly labeled products. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lack the resources to oversee the research of every supplement to test its safety and proper labeling. Due to the fact that the FDA does not have the resources, nor is it the agency’s duty, to monitor and ensure the safety of every supplement on the market, it is important for us as the consumer to do our research before taking any supplement.
Tips for Selecting a Reputable Supplement Product
- Check the manufacturer name – nationally known food and supplement companies often have strict quality control procedures in place, and may be more likely to provide reliable products.
- Look for certifications marks by national quality assurance programs such as USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab.com where applicable.
- Contact the company – ask to speak to a technical expert to inquire how products are made and quality control procedures.
- Review the label – should contain accurate and appropriate information. If statements are unclear or the label makes outrageous claims, the manufacturers are probably not following proper labeling laws.
Most importantly, ALWAYS consult your physician before beginning to take any dietary or herbal supplement and inquire about side effects and drug interactions. The benefits of taking a particular supplement are never as important as your health and
If you need to find a primary care physician, please visit our DMC "Find A Doctor" page at http://www.dmc.org/physicians.
For more information on supplements and general health information, please visit our DMC Health Library page at http://www.dmc.org/healthlibrary.