composition of dietary supplements, the FDA has established good manufacturing practices (GMPs).
These GMPs are designed to prevent the inclusion of the wrong ingredient, the addition of too much or too little of an ingredient, the possibility of contamination, and the improper packaging and labeling of a product.
The FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. But this means that consumers may unknowingly consume dangerous ingredients before the FDA identifies them as unsafe.
To solve this problem, the FDA recently unveiled its new Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List, a rapid-response tool meant to quickly alert the public when the FDA identifies ingredients that do not appear to be lawfully marketed in dietary supplements.
Consumers may wish to avoid buying and using products marketed as dietary supplements containing ingredients on this list.
How to be a smart supplement shopper
Think twice about chasing the latest headline. Sound health advice is generally based on research over time, not a single study touted by the media.
When searching for supplements on the internet, use noncommercial sites such as the National Institute of Health, Food and Drug Administration, or United States Department of Agriculture, rather than depending on information from sellers.
Learn to spot false claims. If claims sound too good to be true, they probably are. Be mindful of product claims such as “works better than medicine,” “totally safe,” or has “no side effects.”
Other red flags include claims about limited availability, offers of “no-risk, money-back guarantees,” and requirements for advance payment.
Be aware that the term “natural” doesn’t always mean “safe.”
Ask your healthcare provider if the supplement you’re considering would be safe and beneficial for you.
Always remember – safety first!
Constance Brown-Riggs, is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, national speaker and author of the Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World, a convenient guide to help people with diabetes enjoy all the flavors of the world while still following a healthy meal plan. Follow Constance on social media @eatingsoulfully