Introducing health conscious consumer guide – it offers practical considerations for health related products without bias and will be continuously updated. Today’s market offers too many health products and choices. It is difficult to make a selection without health literacy. Hope this consumer guide may answer some questions for health related products and being resourceful for the health conscious consumers.
Important information to understand before buying -
1. Should I take supplements? A balanced diet provides human nutritional needs naturally. If, however, there are intake deficiencies/limitations or indications for supplements (i.e., annual physical blood testing showing low Calcium, Vitamin D, anemia, or other insufficiencies), taking supplements may be necessary as medically advised. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that you consult with a health care professional before using any dietary supplement. Many supplements contain ingredients that have strong biological effects, and such products may not be safe in all people.
Dietary supplements are not drugs. In the USA, the federal law requires that every dietary supplement be labeled as such, either with the term "dietary supplement" or with a term that substitutes a description of the product's dietary ingredient(s) for the word "dietary" (e.g., "herbal supplement" or "calcium supplement").
Federal law does not require dietary supplements to be proven safe to FDA's satisfaction before they are marketed.
For most claims made in the labeling of dietary supplements, the law does not require the manufacturer or seller to prove to FDA's satisfaction that the claim is accurate or truthful before it appears on the product.
In general, FDA's role with a dietary supplement product begins after the product enters the marketplace. That is usually the agency's first opportunity to take action against a product that presents a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury, or that is otherwise adulterated or misbranded.
Dietary supplement firms must report to FDA any serious adverse events that are reported to them by consumers or health care professionals.
Dietary supplement manufacturers do not have to get the agency's approval before producing or selling these products.
It is not legal to market a dietary supplement product as a treatment or cure for a specific disease, or to alleviate the symptoms of a disease.
3. Consumer confidence for safe and trusted supplements/health products In general, the supplements and over the counter health products on the market in the US are safe, as the FDA authority is respected. As a health conscious consumer, it is essential to read and understand the label information, such as RDI (recommended dietary allowance). However, not all supplements have been RDI well established and it’s important to follow the medical advice. Also remember to take your dietary intake into account. Choose a product with the USP (The United States Pharmacopeia) symbol may also gain consumer confidence.