Dietary Supplements: Stay Educated, Make Smart Decisions
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate herbal products and alternative medicines.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know that. A 2002 poll showed that 58% of Americans believe that government agencies, such as the FDA, must approve herbal products before they can be sold to the public.
However, supplements do not have to undergo the same stringent approval process as drugs and supplement manufacturers do not have to prove the safety, quality, or effectiveness of their products before they arrive on shelves.
This has resulted in serious consequences. Sometimes contaminants or substitutes have been found in products.
For instance, some products have been contaminated with lead, and other products touted as being “herbal” have contained prescription drugs.
How do these dangerous lapses occur?
Because the manufacturer—not the government—is responsible for ensuring that the label is accurate and the ingredients are safe. Indeed, the FDA would have to prove that a supplement was unsafe in order to be allowed to remove it from the market.
Next: Labels and Contents
This material is adapted from The American Diabetes Association Guide to Herbs & Nutritional Supplements, written by Laura Shane-McWhorter, PharmD, BCPS, FASCP, BC-ADM, CDE, and published by the American Diabetes Association, ©2009.
Check out our parent mentor volunteer program full of parents just like you!
Become a Red Strider! Know someone with diabetes? Walk for them!
Every dollar you give can be doubled until May 15th to help Stop Diabetes!
Scroll through our calendar of EXPOs to find out when there will be one near you.
Ditch the chips! We've got recipes for eight healthy snacks you'll love to eat.
Learn what BIG discounts on auto insurance may await you.
Get motivated with our newly revised “I Hate to Exercise” book
Subscribe to our blog! It’s the best way to see what we’re up to at the Association.
If you have diabetes, join us for the ride!
Order your Diabetes Forecast® today! 25 Tips to healthy living. Click here to start.
Check out our site full of vegetarian meal planning ideas!
Find your local office to get involved in your community.
A new tool to increase the convenience of portion management
Get recipes, tips and more! Join the conversation!
Learn more about Dribble to Stop Diabetes