[DON'T GULP IT DOWN] FDA launches dietary supplement education effort
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched an initiative, "Supplement Your Knowledge," to help educate, inform, and broaden consumer, educator and healthcare professional understanding of dietary supplements. More than half of all Americans take dietary supplements daily or on occasion. The initiative's resources provide reliable information about the potential benefits and risks associated with dietary supplements, such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs, they may consume.
"Dietary supplements can be valuable to your health but taking some supplements can also involve health risks. It's important...to have a comprehensive understanding about dietary supplements as well as the ability to identify and safely use supplements that are beneficial to their health," said Douglas Stearn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Affairs in the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Although aimed mainly at consumers and secondary school teachers, these resources are absolutely suitable as resident/member handouts or the basis for events centered around supplements' benefits and risks. Available resources include:
- Public education videos and fact sheets with information about dietary supplements, including how they are regulated and potential benefits and risks.
- "Science and Our Food Supply: Examining Dietary Supplements (2021 Edition)," a curriculum aligns with current national education standards and supports educators seeking Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities for their classrooms or constituents. The aim is to help individuals evaluate the accuracy and credibility of information they may see and hear about dietary supplements.
- In collaboration with the American Medical Association, the FDA has developed a continuing medical education program to help physicians and other healthcare professionals understand how dietary supplements are regulated, provide information to patients on their use, and recognize and report adverse events to the agency. This free CME program includes three videos and companion education materials and is available on the FDA's Healthcare Professionals website.
The FDA asks stakeholders to help spread the word by using FDA's Dietary Supplements Social Media Toolkit, and notes that additional information on dietary supplements is available at www.fda.gov/dietarysupplements. To learn more about the Supplement Your Knowledge initiative and available resources, visit FDA website
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