Dietary Supplements: Questions To Ask | Federal Trade Commission

While some dietary supplements have proven benefits, others don’t. And some could even be risky for your health.

Dietary supplements may seem like harmless health boosters. But while some have proven benefits, many don’t. Unlike drugs, dietary supplements aren’t evaluated or reviewed by FDA for safety and effectiveness, and even “natural” supplements can be risky depending on the medicines you take or the medical conditions you have. In recent years, hundreds of supplements also have been found to be tainted with drugs and other chemicals. Always talk to your doctor before you take a new supplement, and avoid any supplement claiming it’s a “cure.”

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Ever wonder about the amazing claims some ads and sites make about dietary supplements, like “turning back the clock on aging with an all-natural pill” or “losing weight fast without diet or exercise” with a powder, pill, or shake? Some say there’s a miracle cure for heart trouble, cancer, and Alzheimer’s all in one pill. But can you believe them?

Some dietary supplements are just a waste of money, and some are even risky for your health. Yep, even the so-called “natural” ones. So be skeptical about those amazing claims, and before you use a dietary supplement, ask your doctor, is there scientific proof it actually works? How reliable is this brand? What are the side effects? How will it interact with my other medications? And if it’s safe to take, what’s the right amount?

Some dietary supplements, like certain vitamins, have proven health benefits. But dietary supplements are not meant to prevent, treat, or cure diseases, so avoid any products that say they can. Want to know more? Visit

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