Herbal and dietary supplement center

Should I take a dietary supplement

Federal law defines dietary supplement as products that:

  • You take by mouth (such as a tablet, capsule, powder, or liquid)
  • Are made to supplement the diet
  • Have one or more dietary ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, tissues from organs or glands, or extracts of these
  • Are labeled as being dietary supplements.

Herbal supplements—sometimes called botanicals—are a type of dietary supplement containing one or more herbs.

The amount of scientific evidence on dietary supplements varies widely—there is a lot of information on some and very little on others. If you’re considering using a dietary supplement, it’s important to keep the following in mind:

  • Supplements you buy from stores or online may differ in important ways from products tested in research studies.
  • Dietary supplements may interact with your medications or pose risks if you have certain medical problems or are going to have surgery.
  • Many dietary supplements haven’t been tested in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children.

The word supplement in itself defines these products. They are not intended to replace a healthy diets, rather assist you in meeting guidelines established to get the nutrition and minerals needed to live a healthy lifestyle.

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