What are some steps I should take if I am considering taking a supplement?

A dietary supplement is a pill or liquid that, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), contains one or more of these ingredients: vitamins, minerals, herbs, other botanicals, amino acids, or a variety of other substances.

Before taking any supplements, it is important to talk with your doctor to figure out what types of supplements might best benefit you. Your doctor can also review dosage information to make sure you are getting the right amount of a supplement, according to the NIH.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has an approval process to test the safety of all medications before they are sold. But there is no law that gives the FDA the power to have the same approval process with supplements, according to the NIH. Once a new dietary supplement is being sold, the FDA has to prove it is unsafe before any restrictions can be put on it.

Reading the labels on dietary supplements is very important. The label is required to be truthful and is not allowed to be misleading, according to the NIH. So if there is a supplement you are considering, read the label closely, determine what ingredients are in the supplement and what the dosage instructions are.

And remember; be sure to talk to your doctor first if you are thinking about taking a supplement.

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