What are Dietary Supplements?

What are Dietary Supplements?

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) defines a dietary supplement as a product that:

  • Supplement The Food You Eat
  • Contains One or More Dietary Ingredient:
    1. - Vitamins
      - Minerals
      - Enzymes
      - Herbs
      - Amino Acids
      - Probiotics
  • Comes in Pill, Capsule, Tablet, or Liquid
  • And Labeled as a Dietary Supplement

There are different types of dietary, or nutritional, supplements. Vitamin and mineral supplements are types of dietary supplements containing micronutrients meant to help a healthy body function smoothly. Herbal (or botanical) supplements are dietary supplements that have a medicinal purpose. Herbal supplements generally support a specific area of the body’s health, such as the liver, bones or skin.

Dietary supplements might seem similar to drugs, and some even have drug-like effects, there’s a big difference: Dietary supplements don’t undergo FDA review for safety and effectiveness before they’re sold.