Health and Medicine

Drugs and Medicines

What is a dietary supplement?

According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), a dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to supplement the diet. The dietary ingredient may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, a dietary substance to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake, or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, or extract. They may be in any form—tablets, capsules, liquids, gelcaps, or powders. The DSHEA places dietary supplements in a special category under the general umbrella of “foods,” not drugs, and requires that every supplement be labeled a dietary supplement.


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