nutritional/dietary supplements

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  • 1. Nutritional/dietary Supplements Chris Sauro HW 499 Professor Davis 7/27/14

2. What is a nutritional/dietary supplement? A nutritional/dietary supplement is a certain product taken by mouth that contains dietary ingredients intended to supplement ones current diet (FDA.Gov, 2014). The dietary ingredients in these various products can include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites (FDA.Gov, 2014). 3. nutritional/dietary supplements regulated?The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), approved by Congress in 1994, defines dietary supplements as products that: Are intended to supplement the diet Contain one or more ingredients (like vitamins, herbs, amino acids or their constituents) Are intended to be taken by mouth Are labeled as dietary supplements 4. nutritional/dietary supplements regulated? (Cont.)The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) once regulated dietary supplements the same way it does foods, but that changed as of Aug. 24, 2007. The FDA's new good manufacturing practices ruling ensures that supplements: Are produced in a quality manner Do not contain contaminants or impurities Are accurately labeled 5. What forms do nutritional/dietary supplements come in? Nutritional/dietary supplements can be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders (FDA.Gov, 2014). In addition, they can also be in other forms such as a bar. If they are in bar form, the information must not represent the product as a conventional food or a sole item of a meal or diet (FDA.Gov, 2014) Products, regardless of what form they come in are placed in a special category under the general umbrella of foods, not drugs, and requires the every single supplement be labeled a nutrtional/dietary supplement (FDA.Gov, 2014). 6. Are nutritional/dietary supplements effective? As you read, a supplement is just that. It supplements your diet alongside wholesome nutrition. A supplement should not take over for your diet. If you do not eat a variety of nutritional food, some supplements can help get the nutrients one may be lacking. Scientific data shows that some nutritional/dietary supplements are in fact beneficial for overall health and managing some health conditions(NIH, 2014). For instance, calcium and vitamin D are important for keeping bones strong and reducing bone loss; folic acid decreases the risk of certain birth defects; and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils might help some people with heart disease (NIH, 2014). Other supplements need/require more studies to determine their value or effectiveness within the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not determine whether dietary supplements are effective before they are marketed (NIH, 2014). 7. Safety & risks surrounding nutritional/dietary supplements Supplements contain many ingredients that have strong effects with the body. Be aware of potential side effects as result. Supplements are most likely to cause side effects or harm when people take them instead of prescribed medicines or when people take many supplements in combination. Some supplements can increase the risk of bleeding or, if a person takes them before or after surgery, they can affect the person's response to anesthesia. Dietary supplements can also interact with certain prescription drugs in ways that might cause problems. Here are just a few examples (NIH, 2014): Vitamin K can reduce the ability of the blood thinner Coumadin to prevent blood from clotting (NIH, 2014). St. John's wort can speed the breakdown of many drugs (including antidepressants and birth control pills) and thereby reduce these drugs' effectiveness (NIH, 2014). Antioxidant supplements, like vitamins C and E, might reduce the effectiveness of some types of cancer chemotherapy (NIH, 2014). 8. Safety & risks surrounding nutritional/dietary supplements (Cont.) Some ingredients food in nutritional/dietary supplements are beginning to become added to everyday food items such as cereal and various beverages (NIH, 2014). As result, individuals are ingesting more supplements than their body actually needs. Taking in too many of one supplement can increase the risk for negative side effects. Example: Too much vitamin A within the diet cause headaches and liver damage, reduce bone strength, and cause birth defects (NIH, 2014). Excess iron can nausea and vomiting and is harmful to the liver (NIH, 2014). 9. Keep in mind.. Don't take supplements in place of, or in combination with, prescribed medications without your health care provider's approval. Check with your health care provider about the supplements you take if you are scheduled to have any type of surgical procedure. The term "natural" doesn't always mean safe. A supplement's safety depends on many things, such as its chemical makeup, how it works in the body, how it is prepared, and the dose used. Certain herbs (for example, comfrey and kava) can harm the liver. Before taking a dietary supplement, ask yourself these questions: What are the potential health benefits of this dietary supplement product? What are its potential benefits for me? Does this product have any safety risks? What is the proper dose to take? How, when, and for how long should I take it? 10. References: Zelman, K. (n.d.). The Truth Behind the Top 10 Dietary Supplements. WebMD. Retrieved July 27, 2014, from 10-dietary-supplements Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know. (n.d.). Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know. Retrieved July 25, 2014, from dToKnow.aspx U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Q&A on Dietary Supplements. Retrieved July 27, 2014, from


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