- DIETARY SUPPLEMENT HEALTH AND EDUCATION ACT OF 1994, PUBLIC LAW 103-417 103RD CONGRESS National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements
- Questions and Answers on Dietary Supplements U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Label Claims for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplements U.S. Food and Drug Administration
What is a dietary supplement?
In the United States, according to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, a dietary supplement is a product intended to supplement (reinforce) the diet, is taken by mouth and contains a “dietary ingredient,” such as minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, herbs or other botanics, or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract or combination of any of the above [1,2].
Dietary supplements can be in the form of tablets, capsules, lozenges, chewables, powders, solutions or syrups. They may also appear as part of foods, for example, nutrition bars.
Nutrient supplements other than dietary supplements are available in the form of skin patches or creams, eye drops, nasal sprays, intravenous and intramuscular injections and rectal suppositories.
- Natural supplements are extracted from plants, animal tissues or inorganic material, such as seawater and rocks.
- Semi-synthetic supplements are extracted from natural sources and then chemically changed.
- Synthetic supplements are completely artificially produced.
Natural or “organic” dietary supplements are not necessary better or safer than synthetic ones.
List of Dietary Supplements
Practically every nutrient can appear as a dietary supplement. Here on Nutrients Review, dietary supplements are described under the related nutrients:
- Amino acids
- Phytonutrients (polyphenols and others)
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
Multivitamin and multimineral supplements and supplements that include various combinations of nutrients, herbal extracts or drugs also exist.
A more complete list of dietary supplements that also includes herb extracts and other substances is here.
Mineral and vitamin supplements can help correct mineral and vitamin deficiencies. If you do not have a nutrient deficiency, you will less likely experience benefits from dietary supplements.
If you are healthy and regularly consume variety of foods, dietary supplements will not likely boost your immunity or help prevent infections or other diseases.
If you have a disease but you do not have a nutrient deficiency, dietary supplements will not likely help you treat that disease. For example, vitamin C or zinc supplements do not likely prevent or shorten the duration of common cold or flu.
Dietary supplements do not likely promote weight loss.
The safety of each supplement is described under a related nutrient. In general, most dietary supplements should be safe when used according to instructions provided by the producers. Most of the side effects result from a supplement overdose.
According to Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, dietary supplements are regulated as foods, not drugs [1,2]. They are producers who are responsible for the dietary supplements’s safety and health claims attached to them, which means they do not need an approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before marketing [1,2].
The label of a dietary supplement needs to include :
- A descriptive name of the product stating that it is a “supplement;”
- The name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor;
- A complete list of ingredients;
- The net contents of the product.
FDA does not analyse dietary supplements by consumers’ requests. Consumers can get detailed information about supplements from the producers or private laboratories.
In the U.S., health claims on dietary supplements are made by producers and are, in general, not evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA is responsible to identify illegal dietary supplements and those promoted by false health claims .
If you think you have suffered a serious harmful effect from a dietary supplement, contact your doctor. In the U.S., you can also make a report using Safety Reporting Portal.
- Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH)
- Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)
- Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
- Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO)
- Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO)
- Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS)
- Raffinose, stachyose, verbascose
- SOLUBLE FIBER:
- Acacia (arabic) gum
- Beta mannan
- Carageenan gum
- Carob or locust bean gum
- Fenugreek gum
- Gellan gum
- Glucomannan or konjac gum
- Guar gum
- Karaya gum
- Psyllium husk mucilage
- Resistant starches
- Tara gum
- Tragacanth gum
- Xanthan gum
- INSOLUBLE FIBER:
- Chitin and chitosan
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
- FATTY ACIDS
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Arachidonic acid (AA)
- Linoleic acid
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
- Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)
- Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs)
- Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs)
- Very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs)
- Vitamin A - Retinol and retinal
- Vitamin B1 - Thiamine
- Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin
- Vitamin B3 - Niacin
- Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine
- Vitamin B7 - Biotin
- Vitamin B9 - Folic acid
- Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin
- Vitamin C - Ascorbic acid
- Vitamin D - Ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol
- Vitamin E - Tocopherol
- Vitamin K - Phylloquinone
- Flavanols: Proanthocyanidins
- Flavanones: Hesperidin
- Flavonols: Quercetin
- Flavones: Diosmin, Luteolin
- Isoflavones: daidzein, genistein
- Caffeic acid
- Chlorogenic acid
- Tannic acid
- Alcohol chemical and physical properties
- Alcoholic beverages types (beer, wine, spirits)
- Denatured alcohol
- Alcohol absorption, metabolism, elimination
- Alcohol and body temperature
- Alcohol and the skin
- Alcohol, appetite and digestion
- Neurological effects of alcohol
- Alcohol, hormones and neurotransmitters
- Alcohol and pain
- Alcohol, blood pressure, heart disease and stroke
- Women, pregnancy, children and alcohol
- Alcohol tolerance
- Alcohol, blood glucose and diabetes
- Alcohol intolerance, allergy and headache
- Alcohol and psychological disorders
- Alcohol and vitamin, mineral and protein deficiency
- Alcohol-drug interactions
- Moderate, heavy, binge drinking
- Alcohol intoxication
- Alcohol poisoning
- Alcohol and gastrointestinal tract
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Long-term effects of excessive alcohol drinking
- Alcohol craving and alcoholism
- Alcohol withdrawal