Thinking of Taking Supplements?
With dietary supplements, the manufacturer, not the FDA, is responsible for determining safety.
Here are some facts you should be aware
of before you decide to take a dietary
supplement for diabetes:
- Dietary supplements do not need FDA
approval before they are marketed.
- The manufacturer, not the FDA, is
responsible for determining safety.
- Manufacturers are also responsible for
determining that label claims are accurate
- The FDA requires that certain information
appears on dietary supplement labels:
- A descriptive name of the product,
stating that it is a “supplement”
- The name and place of business or the
manufacturer, packer or distributor
- A complete list of ingredients
- The net product contents
- A “Supplement Facts” panel that
identifies each ingredient in the
- Manufacturers or distributors do not
have to tell the FDA or consumers what
proof they have about their product’s
safety or proof to back up any claims. (For
information on claims that can be made
for dietary supplements, see the following
Web site: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/hclaims.html). Dietary supplements come
under the umbrella of the FDA’s Center
for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
- Because of limited resources, the FDA
does not routinely analyze the content of
- On March 7, 2003, the FDA announced
proposed rules to establish Good
Manufacturing Practices for all dietary
supplements. The intent is to reduce risks
associated with adulterated or misbranded
products. Different quality assessment
programs have been developed to certify
the content of dietary supplements. Some
of these programs include the Dietary
Supplement Verification Program (DSVP,
run by the United States Pharmacopoeia),
Consumer Lab, NSF International, and the
Good Housekeeping Institute.
These Web sites offer more information about dietary supplements:
Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Supplements, Vitamins
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