Health supplements are ingestible products that are added to the diet to benefit health. They come in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, gummies, powders, energy drinks and bars. Popular supplements include vitamins D and B12; minerals such as calcium and iron; herbs such as echinacea and garlic; and products such as glucosamine, probiotics, and fish oils. These supplements are not intended to cure diseases or health problems, but rather to supplement the diet and improve overall health. The most common form of health supplement is a pill or capsule.
You can also get them in the form of powders, beverages, and food. An exception is if the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for a health claim. In Australia and Canada, supplements and medications are similarly regulated, and only ingredients considered acceptable by the Australian Therapeutic Products Administration or the Natural Health Products Directorate Canada can be sold as dietary supplements. The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) does not need to review advertisements for dietary or health supplements before they are published. However, the justification for the health claims of most botanical dietary supplements remains less convincing.
Because the ingredients used in health supplements are generally well established thanks to the experience of safe use and are not intended for medicinal purposes, health supplements do not require approval or evaluation by the HSA before they can be sold locally. Dietary supplements can help you improve or maintain your overall health, and supplements can also help you meet your daily needs for essential nutrients. Be careful when giving supplements to a child, unless recommended by their health care provider. The program includes risk-based surveillance to sample products on the market and monitoring of adverse reactions, which draws on the HSA's network of health professionals and international regulatory partners to detect signs of adverse reactions to products. Unscrupulous health supplement distributors can produce and sell health supplements with potent undeclared medicinal ingredients to achieve a “quick-cure” effect. The FDA relied on the MedWatch program, through which health care providers reported adverse events that occurred with supplements. In the United States, supplement regulation was described in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. This fact sheet from the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides information that should not replace medical advice.
Manufacturers may say, for example, that a supplement promotes health or supports a part or function of the body (such as heart health or the immune system).Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness tips at your fingertips. Buy health supplements from reputable sources Get your health supplements from reputable sources, such as a pharmacy or established retail store.