Search the internet or turn on the TV and you’re likely to come across a celebrity-endorsed supplement touted to be “totally safe,” “all-natural,” or “without side effects.”
Because it’s a celebrity, we assume they’ve used the product, and we believe “it must really be safe.”
The truth is, the celebrity is only used to gain our trust and sell the product. Moreover, the product may contain ingredients that are anything but safe and may cause harmful side effects.
Today’s dietary supplements are not only vitamins and minerals: herbs and botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and many other ingredients can be found in them.
Dietary supplements are complex products that come in a variety of forms: traditional tablets, capsules, and powders, as well as drinks and energy bars.
While many dietary supplements meet the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) standards for safe ingredients, some companies knowingly distribute and sell dangerous or otherwise illegal products that put consumers at risk.
Unlike drugs that must prove safety and effectiveness before marketing, dietary supplements do not require premarket review or approval by the FDA.
However, to help ensure the identity, purity, strength, and composition of dietary supplements, the FDA has established good manufacturing practices (GMPs).