Supplements: What to Know Before You Buy

What to Know Before You Buy | Dietary Supplements

Plants and herbs have been used medicinally for thousands of years. But since the herbal supplement market is not subjected to the same scrutiny as medication, it is important to do your homework and know what you’re buying. You need to investigate how it might interact with any medical conditions you have or medications you’re taking and if there are any side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers the following information:

Question: What are dietary supplements?
Answer: Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, and other less familiar substances — such as herbals, botanicals, amino acids, and enzymes. Dietary supplements are also marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, and gelcaps.

Dr. Newton’s Naturals: We offer a variety of supplements using the highest quality ingredients. We also have many options that are sublingual (meaning they dissolve under the tongue), making them easier to swallow.

Question: What are the benefits of dietary supplements?
Answer: Some supplements may help to assure that you get an adequate dietary intake of essential nutrients. However, supplements should not replace the variety of foods that are important to a healthful diet — so, be sure you eat a variety of foods as well.

Dr. Newton’s Naturals: The American diet has changed over time. Our busy lives often necessitate eating on the go. Healthy options aren’t often convenient. We need to rely on supplements to make up for our dietary deficits.

Question: Are there any risks in taking supplements?
Answer: Many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations and complicate your health. Be aware when:
• Using supplements with medications (whether prescription or over-the-counter)
• Substituting supplements for prescription medicines
• Taking too much of some supplements, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron
Some supplements can also have unwanted effects before, during, and after surgery. So, be sure to inform your health-care provider, including your pharmacist, about any supplements you are taking — especially before surgery.

Dr. Newton’s Naturals: We always recommend that customers check with their physician before adding any supplements to their diet.

Question: Who is responsible for the safety of dietary supplements?
Answer: Dietary supplements are not approved by the government for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. If the dietary supplement contains a new ingredient, then that ingredient will be reviewed by FDA (not approved) prior to marketing — but only for safety, not effectiveness.
The manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements are responsible for making sure their products are safe before they go to market. Manufacturers are required to produce dietary supplements to minimum quality standards and ensure that they do not contain contaminants or impurities, and are accurately labeled.
FDA can take dietary supplements off the market if they are found to be unsafe, or if the claims on the products are false and misleading.

Dr. Newton’s Naturals: Quality is of utmost importance. Our manufacturers meet or exceed all federal regulations. It is not just about checking a finished product. Instead, quality control is built into each production step – from screening of raw materials, through the steps of weighing, mixing, encapsulation and tableting and bottling, a quality control inspector is on hand on the production floor to ensure purity, strength and composition.

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