In the United States, a dietary supplement is defined under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 as a product taken by the mouth that contains a dietary ingredient that is intended as a supplement to the diet. By virtue of the act, this dietary ingredient could be one or any combination of the following:
- a vitamin,
- a mineral,
- an herb or other botanical,
- an amino acid,
- a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake (e.g., enzymes or tissuess from organss or glands), or
- a concentrate, metabolite, constituent or extract.
Now, compounds sold under the dietary supplement law cannot make claims about being able to cure diseases. As the FDA states it:
- No, a product sold as a dietary supplement and promoted on its label or in labeling* as a treatment, prevention or cure for a specific disease or condition would be considered an unapproved--and thus illegal--drug. To maintain the product's status as a dietary supplement, the label and labeling must be consistent with the provisions in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994.
- Dietary Supplement
- Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994