HEALTH INFORMATION: VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS

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VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS

VITAMINS ARE A TYPE OF SUBSTANCE THAT YOUR BODY NEEDS TO ALLOW IT TO GROW AND DEVELOP NORMALLY. WHEN IT COMES TO VITAMINS THERE ARE ESSENTIALLY 13 TYPES YOUR BODY NEEDS. GENERALLY THESE TYPES OF VITAMINS ARE SUPPLEMENTED IN THE FOODS YOU EAT DAILY.

EACH VITAMIN HAS A SPECIFIC ROLE. WITH LOW LEVELS OF CERTAIN VITAMINS YOU MAY RISK VARIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS. A WELL BALANCED DIET IS THE BEST WAY TO ENSURE THAT YOUR BODY IS ABSORBING A NECESSARY AMOUNT OF NUTRIENTS YOU NEED. SPEAK WITH OUR PHARMACIST AND SEE WHAT WE WOULD SUGGEST FOR YOU.

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS:

WHAT IS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT?

A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to supplement or enhance the diet. The “dietary ingredients” in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites. Dietary supplements can also be extracts or concentrates, and may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, soft gels, gel caps, liquids, or powders. Whatever their form may be, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 places dietary supplements in a special category under the general umbrella of “foods,” not drugs, and requires that every supplement be labeled a dietary supplement.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN 13 VITAMINS YOUR BODY NEEDS?

HERE IS A LIST OF 13 VITAMINS YOUR BODY NEEDS.

HOW ARE SUPPLEMENTS REGULATED?

You should know the following if you are considering using a dietary supplement.

  • Federal law requires that every dietary supplement be labeled as such, either with the term “dietary supplement” or with a term that substitutes a description of the product’s dietary ingredient(s) for the word “dietary” (e.g., “herbal supplement” or “calcium supplement”).
  • Federal law does not require dietary supplements to be proven safe to FDA’s satisfaction before they are marketed.
  • For most claims made in the labeling of dietary supplements, the law does not require the manufacturer or seller to prove to FDA’s satisfaction that the claim is accurate or truthful before it appears on the product.
  • In general, FDA’s role with a dietary supplement product begins after the product enters the marketplace. That is usually the agency’s first opportunity to take action against a product that presents a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury, or that is otherwise adulterated or misbranded.
  • Dietary supplement advertising, including ads broadcast on radio and television, falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Once a dietary supplement is on the market, FDA has certain safety monitoring responsibilities. These include monitoring mandatory reporting of serious adverse events by dietary supplement firms and voluntary adverse event reporting by consumers and health care professionals. As its resources permit, FDA also reviews product labels and other product information, such as package inserts, accompanying literature, and Internet promotion.
  • Dietary supplement firms must report to FDA any serious adverse events that are reported to them by consumers or health care professionals.
  • Dietary supplement manufacturers do not have to get the agency’s approval before producing or selling these products.
  • It is not legal to market a dietary supplement product as a treatment or cure for a specific disease, or to alleviate the symptoms of a disease.
  • There are limitations to FDA oversight of claims in dietary supplement labeling. For example, FDA reviews substantiation for claims as resources permit.

ARE SUPPLEMENTS SAFE?

Many dietary supplements have clean safety histories. For example, millions of Americans responsibly consume multi-vitamins and experience no ill effects.

Some dietary supplements have been shown to be beneficial for certain health conditions. For example, the use of folic acid supplements by women of childbearing age who may become pregnant reduces the risk of some birth defects.

Another example is the crystalline form of vitamin B12, which is beneficial in people over age 50 who often have a reduced ability to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12. But further study is needed for some other dietary supplements.

Some supplements have had to be recalled because of proven or potential harmful effects. Reasons for these recalls include

  • microbiological, pesticide, and heavy metal contamination
  • absence of a dietary ingredient claimed to be in the product
  • the presence of more or less than the amount of the dietary ingredient claimed on the label

In addition, unscrupulous manufacturers have tried to sell bogus products that should not be on the market at all.

Before taking a dietary supplement, make sure that the supplement is safe for you and appropriate for the intended purpose.

CAN MY PHARMACIST HELP RECOMMEND SUPPLEMENTS?

ABSOLUTELY. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that you consult with a health care professional before using any dietary supplement. Many supplements contain ingredients that have strong biological effects, and such products may not be safe in all people.

If you have certain health conditions and take these products, you may be putting yourself at risk. Your health care professional can discuss with you whether it is safe for you to take a particular product and whether the product is appropriate for your needs. Here is some general advice:

  • Dietary supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or alleviate the effects of diseases.They cannot completely prevent diseases, as some vaccines can. However, some supplements are useful in reducing the risk of certain diseases and are authorized to make label claims about these uses. For example, folic acid supplements may make a claim about reducing the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Using supplements improperly can be harmful. Taking a combination of supplements, using these products together with medicine, or substituting them in place of prescribed medicines could lead to harmful, even life-threatening, results.
  • Some supplements can have unwanted effects before, during, or after surgery. For example, bleeding is a potential side effect risk of garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, and Vitamin E. In addition, kava and valerian act as sedatives and can increase the effects of anesthetics and other medications used during surgery. Before surgery, you should inform your health care professional about all the supplements you use.

COMMON WORDS ON VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS

  • DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
  • HERBAL MEDICINE
  • MINERALS
  • NUTRITION
  • DISEASE PREVENTION
  • OVER THE COUNTER SUPPLEMENTS
  • BALANCED DIETS
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HEALTH INFORMATION LINKS

EXTERNAL LINKS ON VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS:

THE FOLLOWING LINKS PROVIDED HELPS YOU GAIN A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS: