What’s the Difference Between Dietary
Supplements and Prescription Drugs?
A dietary supplement is usually a manufactured product meant to augment one’s daily diet with a
single pill, capsule, powder or pill. In its most basic form ipharmahome, a supplement is designed to augment
the daily requirements of a bodybuilder or athlete by providing them with essential vitamins,
minerals or amino acids needed for muscle growth and performance. However, a dietary
supplement can also provide essential nutrients either synthesized from food sources or which
are natural in order to enhance the amount of his daily intake. For example, a person who wants
to lose weight can benefit from a dietary supplement because it can help him to replenish his fat
stores by adding healthy food components that he would normally have overlooked. It can also
help a person who is recovering from an injury or surgery because it can speed up the healing
Determining whether or not a dietary supplement can be classified as a food or a medicine takes
research, analysis and observation ipharmahome.com. The FDA defines dietary supplements as “any substance
added to, taken from, or used in the preparation of food.” This includes vitamins, minerals and
herbs as well as other dietary ingredients. The substances must be separately recognized and
declared by the manufacturer so that they can be regulated according to the Dangerous Drug
List. A dietary supplement does not need to be approved by the FDA before being classified as a
drug since they do not contain active ingredients that could be converted into a drug.
Dietary supplements are a grey area subject to a lot of litigation according to both federal and
state law. While there is legislation in the United States that makes it illegal to sell vitamins and
supplements intended for therapeutic use, individual states are allowed to enact their own legal
definitions of what constitutes a dietary supplement and the means by which they can be
regulated. In some instances, dietary supplements are defined as those substances that a doctor
considers necessary for the health or treatment of a particular person and are not available
through a regular doctor. For instance, nutritional counseling is considered a dietary supplement
in the state of California.
Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms and can be used either to replace or enhance
the nutrients that have been included in a diet. Some of the most common are vitamins, minerals
and herbs. Most people take vitamins to meet recommended daily allowances for folic acid,
calcium and iron. Vitamin D is widely recognized as being important for building strong bones
and teeth, and studies have also indicated that certain vitamins can help lower cholesterol levels.
Herbs such as niacin, thiamine and pantothenic acid have been shown to aid the immune
system in fighting disease. However, it’s important to note that all dietary supplements come with
detailed information about the nutrients and how they are supposed to be used and what
potential side effects they may have.
Before including a dietary supplement in a healthcare regimen, patients should consult with their
healthcare provider to discuss how the supplement might affect their healthcare. Also, it’s
important to find out if the supplement has been proven to be safe and if there are any known
side effects. In some cases, a healthcare provider may not feel comfortable prescribing a
supplement if the patient is at risk for interactions with other medicines, vitamins or herbs.
It’s also important to know what type of dietary ingredients is in the supplement. All
pharmaceuticals must abide by the drug information manufacturing act of 2021, which
specifically requires manufacturers to identify the name, lot and quantity of each active
ingredient. Additionally, manufacturers must follow good manufacturing practices guidelines for
the production, storage, labeling, packaging and distribution of dietary ingredients. The dietary
ingredient labeling act of 1996 requires the ingredients to be listed by name and standardized on
the label. In addition to the act of labeling, a healthcare product manufacturer must also comply
with the nutrition standards set forth by the US food and drug administration (FDA). Many
manufacturers are now required to submit labeling and packaging documents to the FDA.