Dietary supplements refer to a broad range of products that fill gaps in our diet and provide natural health care remedies. Multivitamins, omega-3/fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin C, and calcium are just a few of the thousands of products that more than 150 million Americans regularly consume.
Congress has defined “dietary supplement” as a product that:
- Is intended to supplement the diet;
- Contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and other defined substances or their constituents;
- Is intended to be taken by mouth; and
- Is labeled as being a dietary supplement.
Products that adhere to this definition are considered a food product and presumed to be safe, which means they are subject to different regulations than drugs or pharmaceuticals.
Products that contain ingredients outside this definition like pharmaceutical additives or illegal substances, are not dietary supplements and are removed from the market by the FDA.