(photo by Liz Ruttenbur) The dietary supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with a vast amount of choices at the local grocer.
(Photo by Liz Ruttenbur)
The dietary supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with a vast amount of choices at the local grocer.

There is a pill that would magically make the fat disappear off your body. No more killing yourself at the gym. Just popping this magical supplement, or mixing this shake will make the days of being fat seem like a bad memory.

However much these dietary supplement companies claim about their amazing products, do they really work or are we pumping poison into our bodies?

How can you tell? The dietary supplement industry is not currently regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It does not go through the same process that other drugs and pharmaceuticals face to find out whether or not it should be given out to the population.

There are many supplements and ‘wonder pills’ on the market that range from completely ineffective to potentially dangerous,” said Salt Lake City resident Preston Welch.

Welch has spent the last five years studying and following the issues with dietary supplements.

Many dietary supplements (vitamins, ‘immune system boosters’, energy drinks, protein shakes) can do what they are advertised to do. However, without the regulatory oversight of the FDA, the makers of these products do not have to be held up to the same scientific scrutiny as regular drugs,” said Welch. 

In June, Dr. Mehmet Oz who hosts his own television show “The Dr. Oz Show” was placed in the hot seat by senators in the Federal Trade Commission who grilled him with questions on his promotions of dietary supplements.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a democrat from Missouri and the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection blasted Oz, saying, “The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles.'”

The Federal Trade Commission is charged in protecting consumers from deceptive advertising and practices.

Green coffee beans, a supplement that was promoted by “The Dr. Oz Show” was sued by the FTC for deceiving consumers in May. The sellers of Green Coffee Beans made phony news sites and invented health claims.

Although there have been scientific studies in the health benefits of green coffee beans, the findings are not strong enough to produce such bold claims of weight loss. Only 16 participants lost an average of 18 pounds over the span of 22 weeks.

An amendment introduced by Senator Dick Durbin in 2012 would have made anyone involved with the processing, packaging, storing and manufacturing of dietary supplements register with the FDA. It would also make them list all of the ingredients for each product and a copy of the label.

Senator Orin Hatch from Utah lead the efforts to kill this amendment, claiming that it would “dramatically over-regulate the dietary supplement industry.”

There are some people who do not believe the FDA has altruistic reasonings behind wanting to regulate dietary supplements.

They should stick to poisoning people outright with pharmaceuticals,” commented Ogden resident Michelle Savage on the FDA wanting more regulation on dietary supplements.

A consumer report  warned that megadoses of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K can cause problems and may interfere with some prescription medicine.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition offers a free handbook on the safety of vitamins and minerals for consumers to educate themselves on proper guidelines in taking certain vitamins and minerals.

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1 Comment

  1. This story is rife with disinformation. The nutraceutical industry is regulated by the FDA under CFR Title 21 and products sold must be labeled as per FDA requirements. To say supplements are not regulated by FDA is outright false. What US citizens need is not more passive legislation, they need enforcement of existing legislation, for the FDA to be properly staffed to do their job. There are predatory companies out there selling supplements and there are also predatory companies out there selling pharmaceuticals. I have worked in both industries and know this to be true. Only when the FDA is properly staffed and actually executing all of its legislated mandates, and ONLY then, would it be appropriate to review current legislation and propose changes.

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