What to know about supplements

Supplement is a broad term used for herbs, minerals, vitamins, etc. taken to support or enhance health or nutrition. It is essential to be aware that these are not regulated in the same way pharmaceutical medications are.

Medication

Supplement is a broad term used for herbs, minerals, vitamins, etc. taken to support or enhance health or nutrition. It is essential to be aware that these are not regulated in the same way pharmaceutical medications are. 

  • According to the FDA, some supplements have been studied a lot and others very little. Also, even if a supplement has been studied, what is available for purchase may differ from the studied substance. 
  • Remember that whether or not something has been studied can still affect your body or change the way medications you are already taking work. 
  • Therefore, it's important to keep a list of your medications and supplements to review with your health team. This can open communication with your care team. If you are taking a supplement for a symptom your care team is unaware of, you can discuss what might be causing it. 
  • Supplements and vitamins can change how our body works and affect test results. If unreported, it might cause a delay in making a correct diagnosis or determining if treatment is working. 

Resources:
FDA: What You Need to Know about Dietary Supplements

Supplement FAQ's National Institutes of Health

Information on botanical supplements

Background Information: Dietary Supplements


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