Dietary Supplements Summary Essay

Submitted By sinlove1127
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Dietary Supplements Summary

In the United States, dietary supplements are substances you eat or drink. They can be vitamins, minerals, herbs or other plants, amino acids or parts of these substances. Normally, you should be able to get all the nutrients you need from a balanced diet. However, taking supplements can provide additional nutrients when your diet is lacking or when certain health conditions cause you to develop an insufficiency or deficiency. In most cases, multiple-vitamin supplements provide all the basic micronutrients your body needs. These multiple-vitamins are generally safe because they contain only small amounts of the each nutrient. Scientific research supports some of the benefits of using many dietary supplements for certain health conditions, but in many more cases, the effectiveness has not been backed up by the research evidence. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements has dietary supplement factsheets that assess the evidence for (and against) the therapeutic use of a large number of dietary supplements. People take dietary supplements to obtain essential nutrients that may be deficient or missing in their diets. Supplements may contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and herbs. Yet, they may have risks. Research by epidemiologists at the Food and Drug Administration and published in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association" in 2006 reports that more than 13 percent of adults in the United States who take multivitamin multi-mineral supplements report adverse events. Originally, dietary supplements and regulation was an area covered only by the Federal Government. Through the Food and Drug Administration the same laws that regulate foods also regulate dietary supplements. The FDA has the authority to take a product off the market if it is found to be harmful, but is not required to do strenuous testing before marketing. Just as you would buy spinach from the supermarket and not worry about it causing sickness, in the same way you can buy a bottle of liquid vitamins with antioxidants. However, if the government determines E-Coli bacteria is being spread by the spinach, as happened recently, that product is taken off the market, just as a dietary supplement would be if it were found to be harmful. The Federal Government also addresses dietary supplements and regulation through the Federal Trade Commission. These regulations detail how a producer of dietary supplements can advertise their product. Advertising information is required to be truthful and not misleading. Using our example of liquid vitamins with antioxidants, the producer of these vitamins can say the vitamins can help prevent a cold. They are prevented, however, from saying the vitamins will cure a cold. In 1994 dietary supplements and regulation were brought to the front line when the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) became law. In addition to clarifying the definition of a dietary supplement, this law also created the Office…