Dietary Supplements: Hype or Helpful?
More than half of Americans take dietary supplements . You probably have a bottle of vitamins or an herbal supplement in your cupboard or medicine cabinet (I know I do!). The dietary supplement industry is big business the projection is that by 2024, the supplement market will reach $278 billion . Supplements are touted everywhere in drugstores, grocery stores, health-food stores, and, of course, on the Internet. Plus, entire stores (GNC, Vitamin Shoppe) are devoted to selling pills and potions to enhance health and performance. And lets not forget the celebrities and sports stars pushing supplements on us, as well. But are dietary supplements all theyre cracked up to be? Does swallowing a fistful of pills every morning really make you healthier?
Dietary supplements encompass a whole host of items , including vitamins and minerals, herbs and other botanicals, enzymes, and amino acids. Supplements come in a variety of forms tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, and powders. Some common supplements include:
Are dietary supplements approved by the FDA?
According to the FDA , a dietary supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a dietary ingredient intended to add further nutritional value to (supplement) the diet. From that definition, taking a supplement sounds like a pretty good idea. Taking a multivitamin every day, for example, seems pretty benign, and for the most part, it is. However, the FDA does not approve dietary supplements. This means that supplement manufacturers are not required to obtain FDA approval to market their products. Continue reading