advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
New Regulations for Supplements?
What do you think of the new rules the FDA plans to impose on dietary supplement manufacturers?
A
Answer (Published 4/3/2003)

(Updated Jan. 20, 2004)

In early March the FDA announced new regulations to ensure that supplements are accurately labeled and free of bacteria, pesticides, lead and other contaminants. The agency acted after repeated reports about products that contained less of the active ingredients than claimed on the labels. One study at the University of Arkansas showed that half the brand-name ephedra products differed from their label strengths by at least 20 percent. Some contained other drugs that should have been listed on the label, and some contained heavy metals.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Supplements & Herbs - If you are interested in supplementing your diet, and want to take the mystery out of choosing vitamins, try Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor. Visit today for your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor Recommendation.

In its announcement, the FDA listed a number of other instances of mislabeling and supplement contamination as examples of the types of abuses it seeks to prevent:

  • An unnamed supplement found to contain lead that was recalled by the manufacturer.
  • A recall of a niacin product after reports of heart attacks, vomiting and liver damage. This occurred after a supplier apparently mislabeled a bulk container that held ten times the safe concentration of the compound.
  • Five soy or red clover products that contained only 50 to 80 percent of the isoflavones claimed on the labels.
  • Eight probiotics containing less than one percent of the number of live bacteria claimed on the label.
  • A folic acid supplement containing only 35 percent of the amount of folic acid claimed on the label. The supplement was recalled.

The new rules cover the design and construction of physical plants, the establishment of quality control procedures, testing of manufactured dietary ingredients and dietary supplements and requirements for maintaining records and handling consumer complaints.

The regulations are a step in the right direction, but we don't know how the FDA is going to enforce them. And despite this change, manufacturers still aren't required to report adverse health effects or establish the safety and efficacy of their products before putting them on the market. However, in December 2003 the FDA banned ephedra, saying "dietary supplements containing ephedra present an unreasonable risk of illness or injury, and should not be consumed."

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here