FDA: Facts about Dietary Supplements


If you take any vitamins or minerals, you are likely using a dietary supplement. Before you decide to take a supplement, you should know that the FDA does not approve dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness or their labeling before they are sold to the public.  

Dietary supplement companies are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe and accurately labeled.   

Fact: There are benefits and risks of taking dietary supplements.   

More Information: Dietary supplements can play a role in improving or maintaining your overall health. Some supplements can help you meet your daily requirements of essential nutrients. Dietary supplements can also have health risks, interact with medications, or interfere with lab tests. 

Bottom Line: Before buying or using a dietary supplement, read the product label and talk with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional about any medications you are taking and your overall health. They can help you decide which supplements are right for you.  

Fact: Vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other dietary supplements are not FDA-approved to treat or prevent disease. 

More Information: The FDA does not approve dietary supplements for any purpose. Products that have claims to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases are generally subject to regulation as drugs. 

Bottom Line: If a supplement promises a cure or quick fix for a health problem, it is probably too good to be true. Report concerning products to the FDA at FDA Health Fraud Scams. 

Fact: The FDA does not generally review dietary supplements before they are sold to consumers. 

More Information: Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA, but much of our role begins after products enter the marketplace. In fact, in many cases, companies can produce and sell dietary supplements without even notifying the FDA. The FDA works to ensure that dietary supplements meet applicable safety standards and that they are well-manufactured and accurately labeled. The FDA is further responsible for enforcing the laws and regulations governing dietary supplements.  

Bottom Line: If a product is found to be unsafe or not otherwise in compliance with the law, the FDA can work with the company to bring the product into compliance or possibly remove it from the market. 

Fact: Anyone can report a complaint, concern, or problem related to dietary supplements to the FDA.  

More Information: If you think you have suffered a health-related reaction or illness from a dietary supplement, you should contact your health care provider immediately. It is particularly important to report dietary supplement health-related reactions or illnesses (also known as adverse events) to the FDA so we can evaluate the risks and take action, if necessary, to protect others from possibly unsafe products. 

Bottom Line: You can report adverse events from a dietary supplement to the FDA through the Safety Reporting Portal so we can act to protect the public from unsafe products. 

Source: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/rumor-control/facts-about-dietary-supplements