The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

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  • Recent Comments

    Misperceptions about DSHEA and supplements

    Most people are misinformed about the extent of government regulation of vitamins, minerals and food supplements, according to a National Harris Interactive Survey.

    Commonly held misperceptions

    • Supplements must be approved by a government agency such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    • Manufacturers are prohibited from making claims for the safety and effectiveness of their products unless the claims are supported by solid scientific evidence
    • Manufactures must include warnings about potential side effects or other risks associated with the use of their products

    Here and here are the facts. In 1994, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which set regulatory standards of dietary supplements used for medical benefit. Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, or dietary substances.

    Under DSHEA, manufacturers are not required to prove the health benefits of their products. Herbal manufacturers can make three types of claims without FDA approval: (1) nutrient content claims, (2) nutrient support or structure-function claims, and (3) health claims.

    The good news is that DSHEA facilitated consumer access to more supplements. The bad news is that many of these products lack the scientific evidence and regulatory oversight to back up their claims. Worse, most people don’t know the difference.

    Was this a good deal for American consumers?

    7/12/06 22:07 JR

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