How to Safely Take Dietary Supplements

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that consumers consult with their doctor, pharmacist, or other health professional before taking any dietary supplement. This is because some supplements may interact with medications or other supplements, and ingredients that are not listed in the supplement information panel should be listed in the list of other ingredients. This could include sources of dietary ingredients, such as gelatin, starch, stabilizers, preservatives, and flavors. It is important to note that no scientific study has proven that megadoses of certain vitamins can prevent or cure diseases. In fact, large doses of some vitamins or minerals can be dangerous and even harmful.

For instance, the body cannot eliminate large doses of vitamin A. If taken in excess, it can reach toxic levels, which can damage organs and interfere with certain medications. Many people assume that it is safe to take dietary supplements along with prescription medications. However, this is not always the case. Certain dietary supplements can block or accelerate the body's ability to break down some medications.

This can cause a person to have too much or too little medication in their bloodstream. Most pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of herbal supplements do not research potential drug interactions, so the risks of taking supplements with other medications are largely unknown. Manufacturers can also add vitamins, minerals and other supplement ingredients to the foods you eat, such as breakfast cereals and beverages. However, it is important to remember that dietary supplements are not completely safe and taking them can pose risks, especially for people being treated for cancer. The FDA does not approve dietary supplements or their labeling. However, certain types of claims used on dietary supplement labels require pre-marketing review and authorization.

Additionally, there are three types of statements on the labeling of dietary supplements defined by law: claims for a benefit related to a classic nutrient-deficiency disease (when accompanied by a statement that reveals the prevalence of nutrient-deficiency disease in the United States), general well-being statements derived from the consumption of a nutrient or other dietary ingredient, and statements that replace “dietary” with the name or type of dietary ingredient in the product. When taking dietary supplements, it is important to remember that they should be taken as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. It is also important to read labels carefully and be aware of potential interactions between supplements and medications. Additionally, it is important to remember that megadoses of certain vitamins or minerals can be dangerous and even harmful.

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