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Supplemental Project

Supplemental Project Supplemental is a thesis project that helps people manage their supplements and gives them a guide to understand the regulation.

Supplemental is an organization that raises the awareness of supplements and vitamins regulation. It offers an app that lets people choose fully tested supplements, and makes them decide what supplement they need or don’t need in their diet.

Supplemental Project's cover photo
12/13/2015

Supplemental Project's cover photo

Supplemental Project's cover photo
12/13/2015

Supplemental Project's cover photo

Supplemental Project's cover photo
12/13/2015

Supplemental Project's cover photo

Experts: Don't Waste Your Money on Multivitamins.Dietary supplements are a multibillion-dollar industry in the United St...
09/30/2015
Experts: Don't Waste Your Money on Multivitamins

Experts: Don't Waste Your Money on Multivitamins.

Dietary supplements are a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States, and multivitamins account for nearly half of all vitamin sales, according to the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements.

But a growing body of evidence suggests that multivitamins offer little or nothing in the way of health benefits, and some studies suggest that high doses of certain vitamins might cause harm.

09/20/2015

On October 10, 2011, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn't. Two days later, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that men who took vitamin E had an increased risk of prostate cancer.

12 Supplements you should avoid
09/20/2015

12 Supplements you should avoid

09/20/2015
Tainted_Supplements_CDER

For a list of some of the potentially hazardous dietary supplements marketed to consumers.

Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.

Health fraud scams refer to products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure diseases or other health conditions, but are ...
09/20/2015
Health Fraud Scams

Health fraud scams refer to products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure diseases or other health conditions, but are not proven safe and effective for those uses.

09/20/2015

Although the benefits of some dietary supplements have been documented, the claims of others may be unproven. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Be a savvy supplement user. Here's how:

- Watch out for false statements like:
A quick and effective "cure-all"
Can treat or cure diseases
"Totally safe" or has "no side effects"

- Be aware that the term natural doesn't always mean safe.

- Don't assume that even if a product may not help you, at least it won't hurt you.

- When searching for supplements on the Web, use the sites of respected organizations, rather than doing blind searches.

- See Health Fraud Scams for general information on fraudulent dietary supplements.

- See the FDA's Tainted Supplements page for a list of some of the potentially hazardous dietary supplements marketed to consumers.

- Ask your health-care provider for help in distinguishing between reliable and questionable information.

- Always remember — safety first!

- Before making decisions about whether to take a supplement, see your health-care provider or a registered dietitian. They can help you achieve a balance between the foods and nutrients you personally need.
—FDA

09/20/2015

Under Federal law, dietary supplements can't be promoted for the treatment of a disease because they aren't proven to be safe and effective.

09/20/2015

The best way to use supplements safely is to avoid supplements you don't need. Use supplements only if prescribed by your doctor.

09/20/2015

If you experience a side effect from a supplement: Stop using the supplement, inform your physician, and inform the FDA.

09/20/2015

Purchase supplements in retail stores rather than over the Internet.

09/20/2015

Avoid supplements that claim to help you lose weight or improve sexual or athletic performance. These supplements may not only be contaminated with prescription medicines but also with dangerous analogs.

09/16/2015

More isn’t always better. Even if your body can benefit from a certain supplement, in excessive doses it may still cause health problems. For example, drinking green tea may provide fat-burning and antioxidant benefits, but taking high-concentration green tea supplements can be toxic to the liver.

Taking too much selenium and vitamin E may increase the risk for prostate cancer.
Beta-carotene beyond the amount included in a daily multi-vitamin may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
—Help Guide website

09/16/2015

Some dietary supplements are known to be dangerous. Just because a product is on the market does not mean it is definitely safe. There are some known toxic herbs that are still available to the consumer, such as: aristolochia (linked to kidney failure and cancer in the U.S., China, Europe, and Japan); yohimbe (a sexual stimulant linked to heart and respiratory problems); bitter orange (has effects similar to those of the banned stimulant ephedra); and chaparral (linked to liver damage).

Some supplements combine different vitamins or herbs, or include hidden ingredients, often labeling them as simply “energy boosters,” “fat-burning products,” or weight-loss supplements.” The combination of some of these ingredients can cause significant liver damage. Aside from a daily multi-vitamin, it’s much safer to choose supplements that contain just the single ingredient your body needs.
—Help Guide website

09/16/2015

Some dietary supplements can have unwanted effects during surgery. You may be asked to stop taking certain products 2 to 4 weeks ahead of time to avoid potentially dangerous supplement/drug interactions, such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and increased bleeding. Talk with your doctor about everything you are taking before the surgery—vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements, as well as medications.
—Help Guide website

09/12/2015

Patients with kidney disease should not use herbal supplements without doctor advise.
—National Institutes of Health

09/12/2015

Use of herbal supplements is unsafe if you have kidney disease since some herbal products can cause harm to your kidneys and even make your kidney disease worse. Also, your kidneys cannot clear waste products that can build up in your body.
—National Institutes of Health

09/12/2015

You and your doctor should work together to determine if a vitamin/mineral supplement is right for you. If you are already taking dietary supplements, you should inform your doctor. Research shows that many people do not let their doctors know that they are taking a dietary supplement or are considering taking one. You may think side effects happen only with prescription medicines, but some dietary supplements can cause side effects if taken with other medications or if certain health conditions exist. Even if you don't take medication or have a chronic health problem, the wrong dietary supplement or the wrong amount, can cause problems. So check with your doctor before taking a dietary supplement.

09/12/2015

Supplements for weight loss, sexual enhancement, and bodybuilding have been problematic, the FDA said, because some contain steroids and prescription drugs. Lose weight through diet and exercise, get fit through training, and consult your doctor if you need help in the bedroom.

09/12/2015

"Supplement use increased with age: 34% aged 20-39, 50% age 40-59, and 67% over age 60"
—Science-Based Medicine website

09/12/2015

When you research about vitamins and supplements information start in the right places and sources:

• The National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements.
• The FDA, for alerts, advisories, and other actions.
• Consumer Reports Health's dietary supplements and natural health products information.

09/12/2015

Although 35% of people have known others who have had problems caused by taking supplements, 73% of them are still taking supplements because they might think that others bad reactions won’t happen to them, especially when they take other kinds of supplements.
—My own survey has yielded from primary research

09/12/2015

The use of many types of dietary vitamin and mineral supplements has increased substantially over the past 20 years,” the researchers concluded.
— Vitamin D Council

Timeline Photos
09/12/2015

Timeline Photos

09/12/2015

People who are exposed to radiation through x-ray imaging, nuclear power, or fallout from nuclear weapons might have more side effects that others because certain nutritional supplements and botanical medicines may be helpful in terms of managing the side effects of radiation therapy, while others may interfere with the effectiveness of certain cancer treatments.
— American Cancer Society

09/12/2015

Some people such as radiologists and those who get cancer treatments are more susceptible to supplement’s bad reactions than others.

09/12/2015

"Women were most likely to use one or more dietary supplements than men from 1988 to 2016"
—Jaime Gahche, the CDC’s NCHS, Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

09/12/2015

Even helpful products can be harmful in some situations, such as when you're pregnant or nursing, have a chronic disease, or are about to have elective surgery. And some supplements might be fine on their own but interact with certain prescription drugs. Your doctor or pharmacist can steer you away from such problems only if they know what supplements you're taking or plan to take.

09/12/2015

Although dietary supplement manufacturers must register their facilities with FDA,* they are not required to get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements. Manufacturers and distributors must make sure that all claims and information on the product label and in other labeling are truthful and not misleading.
—FDA

09/12/2015

Don't assume more is better. It's possible to overdose even on beneficial vitamins and minerals.

The lack of oversight leaves consumers like John Coolidge, 55, of Signal Mountain, Tenn., vulnerable. He started taking ...
09/12/2015

The lack of oversight leaves consumers like John Coolidge, 55, of Signal Mountain, Tenn., vulnerable. He started taking a supplement called Total Body Formula to improve his general health. But instead, he says, beginning in February 2008, he experienced one symptom after another: diarrhea, joint pain, hair loss, lung problems, and fingernails and toenails that fell off. "It just tore me up," he said.

09/12/2015

“There's no real advantage to taking more than the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals.”
—Johanna Dwyer, RD

09/12/2015

Too much vitamin C or zinc could cause nausea, diarrhea, and stomachcramps. Too much selenium could lead to hair loss, gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, and mild nerve damage.
—WebMD

09/12/2015

One myth I hear often is that natural substances can’t possibly be harmful. Clearly excess can be dangerous, but natural substances can also carry risks even in moderate doses. For example, kava, often used as a sleep aid or to reduce anxiety, has been linked to liver toxicity; St. John’s wort, used for depression, interacts with several medications including birth control pills, and can decrease their effectiveness; and yohimbe, touted as an aphrodisiac, has been tied to high blood pressure, anxiety, dizziness, nervousness, and sleeplessness.
—By CYNTHIA SASS, MPH, RD, Health.com

Timeline Photos
09/12/2015

Timeline Photos

09/12/2015

The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements as drugs and medicines, which can cause many problems. First, the abundance of supplement products in the market tends to motivate people to buy them freely. Second, reduced supervision of supplement effects makes it hard to predict their adverse effects. Third, the lack of regulation leads to misleading labels, which can be dangerous.

09/12/2015

Since people don’t fully understand the regulation for supplements, they often make supplement choices based on their beliefs rather
than facts.

09/12/2015

The "dietary ingredients" in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites. Dietary supplements can also be extracts or concentrates, and may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders.

09/12/2015

"Dietary supplements are usually self-prescribed, so there’s no controlled system for reporting bad reactions and side effects. Doctors and patients can report problems, but are not required to do so. If a supplement has unknown side effects or interactions with other drugs, foods, or supplements, they are not likely to be discovered as quickly as those of new prescription drugs on the market.”
— Food and Drug Administration Introduction

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San Francisco, CA

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