Published February 17, 2023
Eating healthy is important. However, many of us do not always eat the right foods. To help meet the daily requirements of essential nutrients, we may rely on dietary supplements. In fact, millions of Americans take dietary supplements each day. Some dietary supplements, such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs, may be harmful to some people. For example, some dietary supplements may interact with medicines, making them less effective. So, it is always important to talk to your healthcare provider before adding a dietary supplement to your daily routine.
Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an initiative to educate consumers and healthcare professionals about dietary supplements. Supplement Your Knowledge (www.ismp.org/ext/1075) has a number of resources, including fact sheets and infographics in English and Spanish; and videos on dietary supplements, how they interact with medicines, and adverse events that may occur from taking them.
In addition, there is a special section for teachers that can be used to educate teenagers about the potential benefits and risks of dietary supplements. A link to FDA’s Science and Our Food Supply: Examining Dietary Supplements, an interactive program, is provided. Teachers can add this program to any high school science or health class.
Here’s what you can do: Visit the FDA’s Supplement Your Knowledge webpage to read and view information on dietary supplements. Always talk to your healthcare provider before adding any dietary supplement to your daily routine. Keep a list of all medicine and dietary supplements that you are taking.
Advice from FDA is a feature brought to you by the FDA. You can find this information (www.ismp.org/ext/1076) and more on FDA’s Consumer Health Information website at: www.ismp.org/ext/1106. This website features the latest updates on medicines and products regulated by the FDA. Sign up for a free email subscription at: www.ismp.org/ext/262.