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USA - Which Features of Dietary Supplement Industry, Product Trends, and Regulation Deserve Physicians’ Attention?


May 09, 2022

Patients expect that dietary supplements they purchase—and physicians expect that dietary supplements they recommend—are safe, accurately labeled, quality products. Since many dietary supplements, especially vitamins and minerals, are key parts of evidence-based interventions for patients with many conditions, illegal, fraudulent, adulterated, or improperly labeled products should be regarded as sources of clinical and ethical concern. Adverse events (AEs) can occur and, when they do, relevant data should be carefully collected and analyzed. This article considers how many physicians’ and patients’ confusion about dietary supplement regulation can undermine quality caregiving and responses to AEs. This article also summarizes a recent American Medical Association Council on Science and Public Health report on dietary supplement supply and marketing practices and on physicians’ roles in guiding patients when dietary supplement use is clinically indicated.

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