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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