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USA - Lack of supplement regulation: A potential for ethical and physiological repercussions


Jul 11, 2022

Background: The sale and utilization of dietary and fitness supplements in America, with industry revenue totaling 140.3 billion in 2020 alone, has proven significant. Unfortunately, these supplements are not held to high standards of manufacturing or marketing, leading to ethical, financial, and physiological repercussions for consumers. Aim: The aim of this study is to discuss specific examples of a prevalent issue within the supplementation industry; we suggest the implementation of regulatory processes in the sale and marketing of such products. Methods: Studies from 2007 to 2021 which illustrate positive or negative effects of specific supplements based on gross revenue or a high level of publicity were analyzed. Results: Within this paper, we outline potential regulations which could assist in mitigating the negative impact that a lack of oversight has precipitated. These regulations include an initial approval request which reviews supplement ingredients, effects, risks, and therapeutic index. Conclusion: If the proposed regulations are introduced, the data collected via supplement applications may be utilized in classifying the supplement by its risk before it is marketed to the general population with supervision by pharmacists when indicated, ultimately reducing the adverse effects of inappropriate supplementation.

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