A dietary supplement is a manufactured product intended to supplement the diet. Supplements are consumed by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid. A supplement can provide nutrients either extracted from food sources or synthetic, individually or in combination, in order to increase the quantity of their consumption. Supplements are consumed to improve health, reduce risk of disease or injury, or improve sports performance. Bodybuilding supplements or sports supplements are used to increase lean body mass, enhance hydration, improve recovery, enhance vasodilation, or indirectly reduce the risk of injury. However, it is illegal for manufacturers or advertising affiliates to claim that food supplements prevent or treat disease (see more below). Additionally some sports supplements are listed as stimulants and can cause harmful effects, especially to people with existing heart conditions.
In the United States, federal regulations prohibit supplement manufacturers from claiming that their products prevent or treat any disease. Companies are allowed to use what is referred to as “Structure/Function” wording if there is substantiation of scientific evidence for a supplement providing a potential health effect. The label must bear a disclaimer that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “has not evaluated the claim” and that the dietary supplement product is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”, because only a manufacturer of an FDA-approved drug can legally make such a claim. The FDA enforces these regulations, and also prohibits the sale of supplements and supplement ingredients that are dangerous, or supplements not made according to standardized good manufacturing practices (GMP).
— FDA | Label Claims for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplements
THE SUPPLEMENTS PAGE IS A LANDING PAGE ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS AND IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION — additional sub-pages will contain additional information about specific nutritional supplements.
There are also conspiracies that claim that an FDA-Pharmaceutical Industry Complex is controlled by drug money that helps investors and political friends more than it helps medical patients’ treatments with safe drugs, and more than it helps individuals searching for true facts about nutrition to prevent disease.
The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) has been accused of promoting several conspiracies, such as 9/11 conspiracy theories, anti-vaccine conspiracies, pro-Russia propaganda and disinformation, and CIA conspiracies.
When we speak of the pharmaceutical industry complex, it does not refer solely to private drug manufacturers. The complex, like a Matrix that holds captive the health of the nation in medical slavery by its own design and manipulation, is a consortium, a spiders’ web woven with financial attachments throughout the medical profession. In addition to the pharmaceutical and medical device firms, this complex includes every government health agency—the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and or course the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—as well as drug lobbying firms now employing a large number of former Congresspersons, insurance and HMO companies, all of the leading professional medical associations such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the majority of medical schools and their research departments who are heavily funded by drug money, many of the most prestigious medical journals, and ultimately all of this filtering downward to the physicians who diagnose our illnesses and prescribe our medications and treatments.
— The Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex: A Deadly Fairy Tale
CRG claims pharmaceutical executives, or a lobbyist representing a drug company have collected a litany of charges including medical fraud, criminal salesmanship, gaming the insurance industries, repeated lying to federal officials, and manipulation of data regarding life-threatening adverse effects of drugs that could have fatal consequences.
Conspiracists say the motive is selling drugs with ‘trade secrets’ at greatly inflated prices over promoting simple readily available nutritional with no great price margin.
Unfortunately, deceptive marketing or ‘snake oil’ sales go back to the 18th century when fake cancer cures and pain relievers, etc. were sold to innocent victims. Supplements and fake medicine were also sold at greatly inflated prices. Deceptive marketing exists today, even on YouTube advertisements.
In June 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law the Pure Food and Drug Act, also known as the “Wiley Act” after its chief advocate, Harvey Washington Wiley. The Act prohibited, under penalty of seizure of goods, the interstate transport of food that had been “adulterated”. The act applied similar penalties to the interstate marketing of “adulterated” drugs, in which the “standard of strength, quality, or purity” of the active ingredient was not either stated clearly on the label or listed in the United States Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary.
Under Harvey Washington Wiley, appointed chief chemist in 1883, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Division of Chemistry — later known as the Bureau of Chemistry — began conducting research into the adulteration and misbranding of food and drugs on the American market. Wiley’s advocacy came at a time when the public had become aroused to hazards in the marketplace by muckraking journalists like Upton Sinclair, and became part of a general trend for increased federal regulations in matters pertinent to public safety during the Progressive Era. The 1902 Biologics Control Act was put in place after a diphtheria antitoxin—derived from tetanus-contaminated serum—was used to produce a vaccine that caused the deaths of thirteen children in St. Louis, Missouri. The serum was originally collected from a horse named Jim, infected with tetanus. Over many years the government countered numerous harmful products, such as radioactive beverages, a mascara that caused blindness, worthless cures for diabetes and tuberculosis, a sulfanilamide with an improper toxic solvent that killed over 100 people,
In 1927, the Bureau of Chemistry’s regulatory powers were reorganized under a new USDA body, the Food, Drug, and Insecticide organization. This name was shortened to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 1930.
In its modern era, the FDA is faced with challenges involving proper pre- and post- market drug safety regulation — an ever-increasing challenge with the pace of research, development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and supplements.
The FDA is also faced with improving the availability of expensive drugs by enhancing competition from generic drugmakers. Since the 1990s, many successful new drugs for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and other conditions are a class of protein-based biotechnology drugs, regulated by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Unfortunately these drugs are extremely expensive, costing tens of thousand or hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, the anti-cancer drug Avastin costs $55,000 for one year of treatment. Also the enzyme replacement therapy drug Cerezyme costs $200,000 per year, and must be taken by Gaucher’s Disease patients for life. Gaucher’s disease is caused by a genetic disorder in which glucocerebroside accumulates in cells and certain organs, causing bruising, fatigue, anemia, low blood platelet count and enlargement of the liver and spleen. Gaucher’s disease is caused by a hereditary deficiency of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase (also known as glucosylceramidase), which acts on glucocerebroside.
Biotechnology drugs do not have the simple, readily verifiable chemical structures of conventional drugs, and are produced through complex, often proprietary techniques, such as transgenic mammalian cell cultures. Because of these complexities, the 1984 Hatch-Waxman Act did not include biologics in the Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) process, in essence precluding the possibility of generic drug competition for biotechnology drugs. About one in 100 people in the United States are carriers of the most common type of Gaucher disease. The carrier rate among Ashkenazi Jews is 8.9% while the birth incidence is one in 450.
The FDA has been criticized for not having enough power and for having too much power in the food an drug industry. The FDA is also criticized for being overwhelmed by demands. Authors from the Mercatus Center published an analysis of the FDA, along with published statements by economists, medical practitioners, and concerned consumers, that in the increasingly complex and diverse food marketplace, the FDA is not equipped to adequately regulate or inspect food.
The main classes of scientifically-established nutrients include …
fatty acids, and
amino acids (proteins).
Dietary supplements can also contain substances that have not been confirmed as being essential to life, but are marketed as having a beneficial physiological effect. In the United States and Canada, dietary supplements are considered a subset of foods, and are regulated accordingly. The European Commission has also established harmonized rules to help insure that food supplements are safe and properly labeled.
The nutritional supplements industry was estimated to have a 2015 value of $37 billion, there are more than 50,000 dietary supplement products marketed just in the United States, where about 50% of the American adult population consumes dietary supplements. Multivitamins are the most commonly used product. For those who fail to consume a balanced diet, the United States National Institutes of Health states that certain supplements “may have value.”
In the United States, it is against federal regulations for supplement manufacturers to claim that nutritional supplement products prevent or treat any disease.
Companies are allowed to use what is referred to as “Structure/Function” wording if there is substantiation of scientific evidence for a supplement providing a potential health effect. An example would be “Supplement X helps maintain healthy joints”, but the label must bear a disclaimer that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “has not evaluated the claim” and that the dietary supplement product is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”, because only a drug can legally make such a claim. The FDA enforces these regulations, and also prohibits the sale of supplements and supplement ingredients that are dangerous, or supplements not made according to standardized good manufacturing practices (GMPs).
The regulation of food and dietary supplements by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is governed by various statutes enacted by the United States Congress and interpreted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“.
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See also …
Centre for Research on Globalization | The Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex: A Deadly Fairy Tale