ABSTRACT: The Dietary Supplement and Health and Education Act of 1994 gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responsibility for oversight of the dietary supplement industry. Recent draft guidelines proposed by the FDA to insure the safety of new dietary ingredients would significantly alter the ability of manufacturers to bring new dietary ingredients to market, and may cause many products introduced since 1994 to be discontinued. These changes will have an impact on health care, but with limited research on dietary supplements and how their use affects the health care system, there is no way to predict what their overall effect on health will be. Since the natural raw materials for dietary supplements are often inexpensive and generally cannot be patented, manufactures have little incentive to conduct the research which might otherwise be warranted. Appropriate clinical trials that evaluate the use and efficacy of various supplements may be critical for our health care system. If inexpensive dietary supplements are found to be safe and effective, such research could yield significant cost savings as well as health benefits.
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 12/2011; 16(5):461-2. · 8.20 Impact Factor