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Dietary Supplements Info

What are dietary supplements?

A Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, and other less familiar substances

— such as herbals, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and animal extracts (see box at right). Dietary supplements are also mareketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, and gelcaps. While some dietary supplements are well understood and established, others need further study.

What are the benefits of dietary supplements?

A Some supplements can help assure that you get an adequate dietary intake of essential nutrients; others may help you reduce the risk of disease. 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. Unlike drugs, supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases. That means supplements should not make claims, such as “reduces arthritic pain” or “treats heart disease.” Claims like these can only legitimately be made for drugs, not dietary supplements.

How can I find out more about the dietary supplement I’m taking?

A If you want to know more about the product you are taking, check with the manufacturer or distributor about:

• Information to support the claims of the product

• Information on the safety and effectiveness of the ingredients in the product

• Any reports of adverse effects or events from consumers using the product

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