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Dietary Supplements: Are They Necessary - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Dietary Supplements: Are They Necessary? Janice Thompson and Melinda Manore’s “Pills, Waters, Soda, Bars- Do We Really Need All These Vitamins?” is a thought-provoking article, which explores the role of dietary supplements, provides relevant information about their beneficial and adverse effects, and discusses the necessity for their consumption…
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Dietary Supplements: Are They Necessary
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Download file to see previous pages Thompson and Manore identify dietary supplements as ‘functional foods,’ or ‘neutraceuticals,’ which are defined as “Any food that has been manipulated in order to enhance its role in a healthful diet” (186). The nutrients added to food, in order to improve the health benefits, include vitamins, minerals, proteins and probiotic bacteria. The largest category of functional foods is vitamin fortified products. Considering the fact that Americans spend almost $21.3 million on dietary supplements (Thompson and Manore, 186), a discussion of the regulations governing such food is important. Dietary supplements are categorized as ‘foods’ and not as ‘drugs.’ As a result, they are not subject to the rigid FDA scrutiny mandated for drugs. It is to be noted that functional foods do not require FDA approval for marketing, the FDA does not test these foods for safety before marketing, and the supplement manufacturers are not obliged to provide the FDA with evidence of the safety of their products (except in cases where new ingredients are being used). There is a complete absence of federal guidelines “to ensure the purity, quality, safety and composition of supplements” (Thompson and Manore, 186). ...
vitamin supplements is considered, it is clear that certain beneficial effects are widely established: calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis, vitamin B12 for vegans and senior citizens, vitamin D and iron for infants, fluoride for children, and multivitamins for those with debilitating diseases. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be potentially harmful in some cases: using supplements as cures for diseases, ignoring their effect when taken in conjunction with other medication, consumption of beta-carotene supplements by smokers, attempting to enhance athletic prowess, energy levels and physical appearance through supplements, and exceeding tolerable upper limits for supplements. In conclusion, it is acknowledged that the ideal strategy for optimizing health is to follow the American Dietetic Association’s call to “eat a healthful diet that contains a variety of foods” (Thompson and Manore, 187). It is best to follow a healthcare provider’s advice in the consumption of dietary supplements. In the absence of strict FDA regulation of dietary supplements, the role of the United States Pharmacopeial Convention is of particular interest to consumers. The USP “sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide” (USP web site). As a non-profit organization, established in 1820, USP is concerned with the establishment of a system of standards and quality controls to ensure the protection of public health. Its credentials are strengthened by its collaboration with the FDA, which enforces USP standards, and by the fact that its standards are recognized by law. In the case of dietary supplements, the USP provides standards which serve as a quality ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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