Are nutritional supplement labels accurate?

Tod Cooperman, MD
Health Education
Nutritional supplement labels are accurate most of the time; but you need to do some research, and make sure you avoid products only sold on the internet. Watch consumer healthcare expert Tod Cooperman, MD, explain some guidelines to keep in mind.
Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics
Nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and therefore their labeling may not be accurate. However, some companies do internal tests for accuracy and if your supplement has a USP seal on the label it's more reliable. You should speak with your dietitian to find out which trusted brands are good for you.
Studies have shown that some supplements contain more active ingredients than stated on their labels. Further, some supplements have been found to contain harmful additives and even contaminants. In a few cases, unethical manufacturers have replaced what should be an herb or acid with a completely different -- either impotent or dangerous -- substance that costs less. The practice creates big profits for the manufacturer and a placebo effect at best for the patient.

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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.