What are some precautions in taking dietary supplements?

Name of Office: Food & Drug Administration

A: Some dietary supplements have documented benefits; the advantages of others are unproven and claims about those products may be false or misleading.

  • For example, claims that you can eat all you want to lose weight effortlessly just by taking their products are not true.
  • One other example is those body building products that can tone you up effortlessly or build muscle mass without exercise.
  • Other questionable claims involve those products advertised as effective in curing insomnia, reversing hair loss, relieving stress, curing impotency, improving memory or eye sight, and slowing the aging process.
  • In addition to lacking documented effectiveness, some dietary supplements may be harmful under some conditions of use.
  • A label of "Natural" is no guarantee of a product's safety or effectiveness.
  • Consumers must read product labels and consult health professionals before taking dietary supplements (especially for children, adolescents, the elderly or chronically ill persons, and pregnant or breast-feeding women) Oftentimes, these products are imported without the necessary papers and there are claims that they are US FDA approved or Japan FDA approved. The US FDA does not regulate health supplements like these. Endorsements frequently come from foreign-authoritatively looking individuals.