As an organizing body for standards that seeks to advance the publics health, the U.S. Pharmacopeia supports manufacturers of food additives in continuing their efforts to produce high-quality products that address the needs of consumers. FDA regulates dietary supplements through a set of regulations distinct from the regulations that govern conventional foods and drugs. The food additives industry is regulated by FDA, mostly through provisions in DSHEE. Dietary supplements may include generic health claims, nutrient-content claims, or structural-function claims. Some scientific evidence is required to be submitted to FDA for health claims alone, establishing a direct relationship between use of a supplement and reduced risk for illness.
While vitamins and nutritional or dietary supplements may benefit your health, they may also pose health risks. Dietary supplement use has grown, despite a lack of evidence demonstrating clear health benefits for most people, and concerns about increased health risks for some. Because of sporadic reports of adverse health effects from vitamin E supplements, scientists have debated whether the supplements may be harmful or even raise risk for death.
Because vitamin E is found in many foods and supplements, deficiencies are uncommon in the United States. Taken together, observational studies do not show vitamin E in foods or supplements offers a great deal of protection from cancer overall, nor from any particular type of cancer. Meanwhile, the larger, longer-term Physicians Health Study II study found that vitamin E supplements did not increase or decrease risk for prostate or any other type of cancer. The GISSI prevention trial found that low-dose vitamin E supplements for seven years (as part of a daily pill with antioxidants) reduced cancer risk of death from any cause in men, but did not demonstrate these beneficial effects in women; supplements did not provide any protection against heart disease in men or women.
In one such analysis, the authors collected and reanalyzed data from 19 clinical trials on vitamin E, including the GISSI and HOPE trials ; they found higher mortality rates in trials where patients took over 400 IUs of supplementation per day.
Population studies (which include looking at a larger group of people over time) have shown that people who eat foods high in antioxidants, including vitamin C, have a lower risk of having high blood pressure compared with those with a bad diet. Eating foods rich in vitamin C is important for your overall health, particularly if you are at risk of high blood pressure. Foods high in vitamin C also contain a variety of useful nutrients and antioxidants, not just vitamin C, so there is no way to tell for sure that vitamin C prevents cancer. Results from a number of population studies indicate that eating foods rich in vitamin C may be associated with lower rates of cancer, including skin cancer, cervical dysplasia (changes in the cervix that can be either cancerous or precancerous, picked up through Pap tests), and, potentially, breast cancer.
Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce vitamin C levels If you regularly take these medications to manage your OA, you may need to take a vitamin C supplement. If your Vitamin C levels are low and you are having difficulty getting enough from the foods you eat, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement. If you do, however, have a real vitamin deficiency, taking a supplement can help. A B12 supplement can help if you have type 2 diabetes and are lacking the vitamin.
It is unclear if vitamins and minerals work in the same way in the body if taken as supplements. Avoid taking these supplements if you are taking medication that reduces your blood thinner. Unless a specific vitamin or supplement is recommended by a healthcare professional, adding one more pill to your regimen is likely to not be that beneficial or cost-effective.
In the end, make sure to talk with your diabetes team before making changes: Your health care team can help you decide whether adding a vitamin or supplement to your regimen is the right move. Talk with your health care provider before starting chromium, vitamin E, St. Johns wort, or niacin.
Both vitamin E and the herb St. Johns wort can have dangerous interactions with blood-thinning drugs used for heart disease – increasing the risk of bleeding. Chromium supplements may further damage the kidneys and make the kidney disease worse.
With over 90,000 different supplements on the market, it is confusing to figure out which ones are safe and which ones are not. These factors may lead to increased risks from low-quality ingredients and production practices, and increased opportunities for financially motivated bad actors to produce adulterated supplements. The FDA regulates the quality, safety, and labeling of dietary supplements, while the Federal Trade Commission oversees advertising and marketing; however, there are significant enforcement challenges that still exist, and the best state supervision has yet to be achieved.
Ignoring that, it is difficult to imagine a single risk or hazard which might have caused the litany of suffering which natural foods and supplement promoters allege can be laid at GMOs causal feet. It should be noted that dietary supplements were exempted before the repeal of exemptions in South Dakota in 2005. Although nutritional supplements are not considered foods and ingredients in West Virginia, a bill passed on July 1, 2014 that exempts foods and ingredients also applies to nutritional supplements. Vitamins and dietary supplements generally are not eligible under the federal food stamp program, and therefore likely would not be eligible for exemption. Texas does not count vitamins or dietary supplements as food products, but instead considers them medical supplies, which are eligible for sales tax exclusions. Texas does not typically impose sales taxes on vitamins and supplements.