What should I be aware of before buying vitamins and supplements?

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The first thing to be aware of is that vitamins and supplements are considered food, not medicines, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So they're not closely regulated. With vitamins, more is not better. You should be confident that you're taking a vitamin you have a deficiency in. Also, be sure you're taking a vitamin that is what it claims to be and doesn't contain harmful additives.
 
Tod Cooperman, MD
Health Education
When buying vitamins and supplements, look for single ingredient products over blends, and know the herbal names of the product's source. In this video, I will explain some tips to be aware of before you buy. 

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.