Abuse and Uses of Dietary Supplements law in Virginia and Maryland

Dietary Supplements

Under the DSHA, it is the job of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to demonstrate that a specific food additive is not safe for consumption by consumers before it can be taken off the market. The underlying framework of DSHEA allows for all products that were sold as dietary supplements at the time of enactment of the act to remain on the market, except where FDA could demonstrate a safety issue in a specific product or product line this is what is called a grandfather clause; manufacturers are required to inform FDA before they introduce a new ingredient into a product. In addition, manufacturers were not required to submit proof of the products safety to the FDA prior to marketing the dietary supplement, except that the supplement contained a novel dietary ingredient (a dietary ingredient not sold in this country before Oct. 15, 1994) that had not been introduced into the food supply as a food in a form where food has been used as an article used in food, such that it was present in the food in a food product. If the substance has been authorized for investigation as a new medicine, significant clinical investigations have been initiated, and the existence of those investigations has been made public prior to use of the substance in the food or the supplement, the substance in question is outside the definition of food.

The Food Act allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to promulgate regulations authorizing an ingredient in foods and dietary supplements, notwithstanding the determination that it was subjected first to a clinical investigation for a new drug, as described above.

In the European Union, food additives are regulated as foods, with the legislation focused on vitamins and minerals used as ingredients in food additives. In Australia, most dietary supplements are regulated in a complementary medicines category that includes vitamins, minerals, herbs, aromatherapy, and homeopathic products, though some products can be considered foods for specific purposes and are regulated by food authorities. In some cases, excess consumption of vitamins and minerals can be detrimental or produce undesirable side effects; thus, maximum levels are required to assure safe use of them as dietary supplements. Previous studies have also shown that supplement users consume higher amounts of most vitamins and minerals through food choices alone compared with nonusers. Thus, disentangling effects of healthful food and lifestyle choices from use of food supplements is generally challenging in epidemiologic studies. Randomized controlled trials are ideal for investigating the use of supplements and health outcomes, but often they yield inconsistent results.

Americans spent over $30 billion on dietary supplements in 2011. Our findings suggest that adults commonly reported using supplements for the purpose of improving or maintaining their health; however, the majority of products were used because of personal choice (77%) and not because of the recommendation of health care providers (23%). Results The most frequently reported reason was to improve (45%) or to maintain (33%) general health. The aim of the study was to investigate motivations for using food additives, characterize types of products used for the most frequently reported motivations, and to explore the role of physicians and healthcare practitioners in guiding food additive choices. The evidence from controlled trials was sufficient to conclude that use of ephedrine and/or the use of dietary supplements that contained ephedrine or that contained ephedrine and caffeine was associated with an increased risk of two- or three-fold increases in nausea, vomiting, mental symptoms, such as anxiety and changes in mood, and autonomic hyperactivity and palpitations.

The authors stated evidence points to a clear association between brief use of ephedrine, ephedrine plus caffeine, or dietary supplements that contained ephedra, with or without herbs that contained caffeine, and statistically significant increases in bodyweight loss when compared to placebo. The American Herbal Products Association, for its part, has indeed responded to the safety concerns surrounding use of ephedra and ephedrine-containing supplements, by developing guidelines in 1994 on dosing levels and label warnings, which were revised in 2000. The FDA received thousands of reports of adverse health events from consumers using supplements that contained ephedra, including 117 deaths and 2,000 serious cases of cardiac, neurologic, and mental problems. At least four people died from using tianeptine, and nearly two dozen reported hospitalizations and other adverse effects, according to a review of FDA data, scientific case reports, and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

FDA has taken the position that CBD cannot be sold in the United States because of provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) relating to the use of food additives and ingredients that were previously studied as pharmaceutical ingredients. FDA clearly maintains the authority to regulate the use of CBD in foods, beverages, food additives, and other products that are subject to FDA regulation. Designating CBD products as legitimate foods, beverages, or dietary supplements would enable the Agency to establish a sensible regulatory framework for processing, manufacturing, and marketing CBD products that are not intended to be used as medicines. Unlike prescription drugs, supplements do not typically require FDA approval before being introduced for sale.

The EUs regulations are intended to promote safety of food supplements and appropriate labeling. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) added, Consults can be used to remedy nutritional deficiencies or maintain an adequate intake of specific nutrients. FDA hopes that these will also illustrate to the public and to the dietary supplement industry that we will act when necessary, and FDA remains committed to educating consumers and industry on proper labeling and use of dietary supplements. The use of multivitamin supplements in the nutritional programs for older Americans is of concern due to their potential use in nutritional programs as an alternative to diets following the U.S. dietary guidelines.