Supplement Labels and Regulation

Learn About Nutritional Supplement Labels

We all know that our bodies need a broad range of supplements to keep functioning properly. Nutritional supplements are intended not as replacements for a nutritionally sound diet, which is why they are often called dietary supplements.

These supplements include one or more nutritional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc. Nutrient supplements come in several forms, including capsules, regular and chewable tablets, gel-caps, liquids and powders.

Who regulates and give advice in this area?

Any nutritional supplement is regulated by the FDA. One of the ways they regulate these dietary supplements is by strictly controlling claims made on supplement labels. Labels on nutrient supplements can contain a health, nutritional content or function claim.

These labels may not contain a claim that it diagnoses or cures a particular disease. The product’s label must not be shown to be untruthful or misleading as to the supplementary benefits of the nutrient or nutrients it contains or the FDA may withdraw approval.

There is also certain information that the FDA requires on the labels of nutrient supplements. The label must clearly state that its a supplement. It also must contain the name and place of business of the manufacturer as well as the quantity of contents and of course directions for use.

So what else do I need to know?

Labels are required by the FDA to have a supplement facts panel, similar to the nutrition panels commonly seen on food packages. This panel must state the serving size, list the specific nutrient ingredients and their amount per serving, plus the percentage of their daily recommended value. If the nutrient ingredient is a plant, the fact panel must state either its scientific or common name and which part of the plant was used.

Non-nutrient ingredients such as artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners must also be listed. Further up-to-date information on dietary supplement labels can be found by contacting the FDA or visiting their website.

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