Health FAQ

Here are answers to common Frequently Asked Questions about taking Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements for our customers, distributors and health practitioners. If you have any additional questions, please contact us here.

A1:

According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, or DSHEA, a dietary supplement is any product that contains one or more dietary ingredients such as a vitamin, mineral, herb or other botanical, amino acid or other ingredient used to supplement the diet. Dietary supplements are not food additives (such as saccharin) or drugs.

A2:

Yes. Dietary supplements are regulated, although not in the way prescription or over-the-counter drugs are. Because dietary supplements are foods and not drugs, the FDA has the power to ensure that products on the market are both safe and accurately labeled. Before a product can be sold, a manufacturer must first notify the FDA of all intended label claims and ensure that they can be substantiated.

Unfortunately, some journalists have incorrectly reported that the supplement industry is unregulated, which is absolutely false. All supplements, including vitamins, minerals, herbs and specialty products must conform to federal regulations that control manufacturing, labeling and advertising practices.

A3:

There are many compelling reasons to consider dietary supplements as a complement to nutritional intakes. While a good diet is the foundation for better health, research shows that most adults and children don’t eat the way they should. Supplements are easy to add to the daily diet, and this is often the first step that people take toward greater nutritional awareness and the adoption of other healthy lifestyle choices. Whether taking a multivitamin, herb or specialty product, people can and do live healthier lives by supplementing their diets.

A4:

Today, more than 70 percent of Americans trust dietary supplements and use them as a way to complement inadequate diets and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As more and more consumers experience the health benefits of dietary supplements, major research institutions are validating their experience and the efficacy and safety of these products.

According to a study published in the Journal of the America Medical Association(JAMA), adverse drug reactions, resulting from prescription and over-the-counter drugs, cause more than 100,000 deaths a year. Furthermore, the study estimates that 2.2 million people annually experience a serious adverse drug reaction.

In addition, Nature’s Impact has reported that dietary supplements are far safer to consume than foods, causing 1/60,000 as many deaths as foods each year. Consumers can check the safety of dietary supplements over the last two decades by comparing the incidence of deaths from all causes that are reported in either the Journal of Emergency Medicine or by the American Association of Poison Control Centers in Washington, D.C.

These scientific studies serve to substantiate the fact that dietary supplements have an enviable safety record when compared to other commonly consumed products.

DSHEA gives the FDA ample authority to ensure the safety of all dietary supplements sold to consumers and manufacturers’ compliance with good manufacturing practices. Additionally, the law empowers the FDA to immediately remove any supplement from the market it deems unsafe. The real question for policymakers today is not whether the FDA has sufficient authority to protect consumers from unsafe practices, but whether the FDA is adequately enforcing the law.

A5:

Each year, numerous studies are published in major medical journals that support the use of dietary supplements for the treatment of specific conditions, prevention of diseases or for general nutritional enhancement. Such studies can be found in The Journal of the American Medical Association, New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Cardiology, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

In addition, several leading research institutes and national associations such as John Hopkins University and the American Heart Association have conducted and released studies on the benefits of dietary supplements.

A6:

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are health professionals who are trained to provide counseling on nutrition and eating habits. An RDN can provide personalized dietary advice taking into consideration your health status, lifestyle, and food likes and dislikes. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a Find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist online search tool that allows you to locate an RDN in your geographical area. Be advised that this list may not include all RDNs in your area.

A7:

The Food and Nutrition Board defines the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) as the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. This level is different for each nutrient. To view the UL for Vitamins and Elements (also referred to as minerals or electrolytes), please refer to the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels table from the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB).

A8:

The National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing offers suggestions for evaluating the quality of health information on Web sites.

The National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus Evaluating Internet Health Information Tutorial is a 16 minute presentation that also teaches you how to evaluate health information found on the Web.

For additional tips on evaluating sources of healthcare information on the Internet, please review: How to Evaluate Health Information on the Internet: Questions and Answers.

A10:

Dietary supplements in which the serving size indicates more than one can be taken all at once or broken up throughout the day. This is based on personal preference.

A11:

The Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD) contains label information from thousands of dietary supplement products available in the U.S. marketplace. It can be used to search, for example, for a specific ingredient in a product, a particular supplement manufacturer, text on a label, and a specific health-related claim.

Please visit Supplement Owl to compare ingredients and doses between products.

A12:

Our products are not formulated for pet use. We suggest that you discuss specific products with your veterinarian, who will provide professional advice and may be able to recommend an appropriate veterinary treatment to assist in your pet’s health.

A13:

It is recommended to follow the directions as stated on the product label. If you would like to take more than what is recommended, we suggest you consult with your doctor or other healthcare professional.

A14:

Our Quality Assurance department assures product integrity, purity and accuracy of contents up to its expiration date. We can no longer guarantee potency and quality after the expiration date has passed.

A15:

The Daily Value indicates the amount of a nutrient that is provided by a single serving of a food item or dietary supplement. Daily Values are used to establish standards for comparison which are based on two sets of standards. The first set of standards is called the Reference Daily Intake (RDI), formerly known as the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance. It reflects the recommended level of intake for most vitamins and minerals. The second set of standards, called the Daily Reference Values, is used for other nutrients that are also known to have a significant impact of health and disease. These other nutrients include fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

RDIs were developed to serve as a guide to determine optimal nutritional needs in order to prevent nutrient deficiencies. They are based on healthy adults who do not have illness, genetic weakness or environmental exposure. They should not be confused with an individual’s nutritional requirements, which differ from person to person.

If you have questions that are specific to Natrol, please see our Natrol FAQs here.