Frequently Asked Questions

You should be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not analyze the content of dietary supplements. However, in 2007, FDA issued Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for dietary supplements, a set of requirements and expectations by which dietary supplements must be manufactured, prepared, and stored to ensure quality. Manufacturers are expected to guarantee the identity, purity, strength, and composition of their dietary supplements.
Because many products are marketed as dietary supplements, it is important to remember that supplements include vitamins and minerals, as well as herbs, botanicals and other substances. Some supplements may help ensure that you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients or help promote optimal health and performance if you do not consume a variety of foods
Many terms are used when referring to either the amount of a particular nutrient (such as calcium or vitamin D) you should get or the amount in a food or dietary supplement. The two most common are the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and the Daily Value (DV). These terms can be confusing. RDAs are recommended daily intakes of a nutrient for healthy people. They tell you how much of that nutrient you should get on average each day. RDAs are developed by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. They vary by age, gender and whether a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding; so there are many different RDAs for each nutrient.
The Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD) contains label information from thousands of dietary supplement products available in the U.S. marketplace. It can be used to search, for example, for a specific ingredient in a product, a particular supplement manufacturer, text on a label, and a specific health-related claim.
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