Are You Getting What You Pay For?

Are you one of the 19 billion Americans who have taken a dietary supplement? You know what I mean by dietary supplement…those pills which promise a quick and painless way to lose weight.. the “get skinny without exercising” variety?

If so, read on for some things you might not have realized about the safety of these diet pills!

The term dietary supplement was legally defined in 1994 as part of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.

In order to be considered as a dietary supplement, a product must be identified as such on the label. Additionally, the product must be intended to add to the diet, it must be taken orally as a capsule, tablet, pill or liquid, and it also must contain at least one of the following: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals or amino acids and other substances.

What makes a dietary supplement different than a food or drug? Under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dietary supplements are more or less regulated as a food.

This means a manufacturer can market a product without having to go through the rigorous safety testing that drugs do prior to being put on the market. Drug companies must prove a drug is safe before it is marketed. With dietary supplements, the FDA has to prove it is unsafe before the supplement is removed from public sale.

This is a huge difference!

Of course if the system worked as it was designed, the FDA should have adequate control over all supplements marketed, being able to prevent the unsafe ones from being sold.

Unfortunately this is not the case, as you well can imagine. There are just too many supplements currently available for the FDA to keep close tabs on. This means not every supplement on the shelf is safe to take!

Quality control is another potential problem with dietary supplements. In other words, what the label says the product contains and what it actually does may be two different things. Standardization is not required by law. It is up to the manufacturer to give accurate information about the supplement ingredients on the label.

Hopefully this information has given you pause to consider your supplement-buying practices. Not that all supplements are bad or harmful, that’s far from the truth, but the take home message is this:

weigh the pros and cons carefully before you decide to buy!

You may not be getting what you think you are.

Sue Roberts, MPH MS RD/CN is a certified nutritionist and registered dietitian.

Get a copy of her FREE ebook, “The Secrets about Weight Loss Supplements: What You Need to Know” at

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Author: Uzumaki Naruto

"I want to see this market as a sharing market. Where merchants and customers sincerely support one another."

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