People often turn to dietary supplements to improve their health. Before doing so, however, they need to understand these supplements come with risks as well as benefits. The supplements are similar to countless prescriptions in this aspect.

When you are looking for nutritional supplements, speak to your doctor. Medical professionals work with patients to determine what supplements patients may need to achieve the goal of improving their health. This depends on the individual’s current health status and where they would like to be. What do consumers need to know when making this purchase?


The United States Food and Drug Administration regulates these products, but the agency doesn’t use the same regulations it does for foods.  It focuses more on ensuring the manufacturer doesn’t make false claims or sell something that can do harm to a user’s health. For this reason, consumers need to use more caution. A person cannot rely solely on what they hear from family and friends. They need to do additional research on each product to understand fully what they are putting into their body, its benefits, and its risks.

What is a Dietary Supplement?

Vitamins serve as one type of dietary supplement, but there are many other products labeled as dietary supplements today. These products include minerals, enzymes, herbs, and other substances. Manufacturers sell them as capsules, tablets, gummies, drinks, energy bars, and more.


Every product sold as a dietary supplement must come with a Supplement Facts label. This label provides information about the active ingredients, the dose, and any fillers, flavorings, or binders found in the product. Although the manufacturer suggests the serving size, the healthcare provider might feel a different amount than is suggested on the package would be better for the patient.

Dietary Supplement Benefits

Many supplements provide users with substances their bodies need to remain healthy. Other supplements, however, work to reduce the user’s risk of disease. Nevertheless, no product of this type should replace a healthy diet, so people need to continue eating a variety of foods to take in these substances naturally. No manufacturer can state their supplement will treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure a disease either. Doing so is prohibited at this time.

Dietary Supplement Risks

Dietary supplements often contain ingredients that have a strong impact on the body. As a result, a supplement could be unsafe for an individual. For example, combining supplements or using them with prescription or over-the-counter medications could cause an adverse reaction. People should never substitute a supplement for a medication prescribed by their doctor, and they should never take more than the recommended dose. Doing so could harm their health. Furthermore, a person must let their doctors and pharmacist know about any supplements they are taking. This ensures the supplements won’t interact with current medications or cause problems before, during, or after a surgical procedure.

Take care when using dietary supplements. If a product makes outrageous claims, don’t buy it. Natural and safe don’t mean the same thing, and the consumer is the one who must determine whether a supplement is right for their needs. Noncommercial sites are helpful in learning more about supplements today, so take the time to read the information on them before you purchase any item labeled as a dietary supplement. Safety must always come first with your health, even when it comes to products that claim to do good. Remember this as you purchase any product of this type.