“No over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplement
or herbal therapy has been found to be effective
on menopause symptoms”.1

Umbrella
What may the Dietary Supplements Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Dietary Supplements
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Supplements
  • Vitamins and Minerals

Definition

What is a dietary supplement?

DotS the definition of a dietary supplement may vary. In Dietary Supplements Questions and Answers: What Is A Dietary Supplement? the (United States) Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) definition is:

“A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to supplement or enhance the diet. 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, soft gels, gel caps, liquids, or powders”.2

Foods or Drugs

Can dietary supplements be “foods” not drugs?

Depending on the Country this may vary. In Dietary Supplements Questions and Answers: What Is A Dietary Supplement? the FDA explain for the United States:

“Whatever their form may be, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 places dietary supplements in a special category under the general umbrella of “foods,” not drugs, and requires that every supplement be labeled a dietary supplement”.3

Types

What are types of dietary supplements?

The (United States) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) explain:

“In addition to vitamins, dietary supplements can contain minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and many other ingredients”.4

Forms

What forms may dietary supplements come in?

In Dietary Supplements: What You Need To Know the ODS note:

“Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, gummies, and powders, as well as drinks and energy bars”.5

Popular

What are popular dietary supplements?

In Dietary Supplements: What You Need To Know the ODS explain:

“Popular supplements include vitamins D and B12; minerals like calcium and iron; herbs such as echinacea and garlic; and products like glucosamine, probiotics, and fish oils”.6

Natural or Not

Are dietary supplements natural?

In Some Imported Dietary Supplements and Nonprescription Drug Products May Harm You: “Natural” Does Not Mean “Safe” the FDA explain:

“But just because a product claims to be natural doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. Likewise, just because a product claims to be natural does not mean that it’s free of hidden drug ingredients.

Furthermore, these products may also be contaminated or contain potentially harmful chemicals or drug ingredients not listed on the label”.7

Safe or Not

Are dietary supplements safe?

In Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Q. Is it safe to take dietary supplements or herbal therapies for my menopause symptoms? the NAMS also note:

“A. …Because normal FDA regulations for prescription or OTC drugs do not apply to dietary supplements, demonstrating safety is not required before a dietary supplement is put on the market. Although a number of manufacturers do employ rigorous quality-control measures, many products are not monitored for purity or levels of active ingredients”.8

In Using Dietary Supplements Wisely: What the Science Says About the Safety and Side Effects of Dietary Supplements the (United States) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health caution:

  • “Some dietary supplements may harm you if you have a particular medical condition or risk factor or are taking certain prescription or over-the-counter medications. For example, the herbal supplement St. John’s wort makes many medications less effective”.9

Menopause Symptoms

Are dietary supplements effective on menopause symptoms?

In Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Q. Is it safe to take dietary supplements or herbal therapies for my menopause symptoms? the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) elaborate on:

Dietary Supplements

“A. No over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplement or herbal therapy has been found to be effective on menopause symptoms. If you still want to try a dietary supplement for your hot flashes, you must continue only with the appropriate oversight of your healthcare provider”.10

Record

Is it a good idea to keep a record of the dietary supplements I choose to take?

Yes. In Dietary Supplements: What You Need To Know – Talk With Your Health Care Providers the ODS explain:

“Keep a complete record of any dietary supplements and medicines you take. The Office of Dietary Supplements website has a useful form, “My Dietary Supplement and Medicine Record,” that you can print and fill out at home. For each product, note the name, the dose you take, how often you take it, and the reason for use. You can share this record with your healthcare providers to discuss what’s best for your overall health”.11

Health Care Provider

What if I choose to take dietary supplements?

If you choose to take dietary supplements it may also be in your best interest to also choose to tell all your health care providers you are doing this.

The ODS caution:

“Do not self-diagnose any health condition. Work with your healthcare provider to determine how best to achieve optimal health. Also check with your healthcare provider before taking a supplement, especially if you take any medicines or other dietary supplements or if you have any health conditions”.12

Health Topics A-Z

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In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Q. Is it safe to take dietary supplements or herbal therapies for my menopause symptoms? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-hot-flashes Accessed: 11 May 2022
  2. Dietary Supplements Questions and Answers: What Is A Dietary Supplement? Content Current As of: 07 January 2015. Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/QuestionsAnswers/ucm100102.htm Accessed: 11 May 2022
  3. Dietary Supplements Questions and Answers: What Is A Dietary Supplement? Content Current As of: 07 January 2015. Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/QuestionsAnswers/ucm100102.htm Accessed: 11 May 2022
  4. Dietary Supplements: What You Need To Know. Reviewed: 03 September 2020. Office of Dietary Supplements https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx/ Accessed: 11 May 2022
  5. Dietary Supplements: What You Need To Know. Reviewed:  03 September 2020.Office of Dietary Supplements https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx/ Accessed: 11 May 2022
  6. Dietary Supplements: What You Need To Know. Reviewed: 03 September 2020. Office of Dietary Supplements https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx/ Accessed: 11 May 2022
  7. Some Imported Dietary Supplements and Nonprescription Drug Products May Harm You: “Natural” Does Not Mean “Safe”. Content Current As of 10 April 2020. Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/some-imported-dietary-supplements-and-nonprescription-drug-products-may-harm-you Accessed: 11 May 2022
  8. Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Q. Is it safe to take dietary supplements or herbal therapies for my menopause symptoms? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-hot-flashes Accessed: 11 May 2022
  9. Using Dietary Supplements Wisely: What the Science Says About the Safety and Side Effects of Dietary Supplements. Last Updated: January 2019. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/using-dietary-supplements-wisely Accessed: 11 May 2022
  10. Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Q. Is it safe to take dietary supplements or herbal therapies for my menopause symptoms? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-hot-flashes Accessed: 11 May 2022
  11. Dietary Supplements: What You Need To Know – Talk With Your Health Care Providers. Reviewed: 03 September 2020. Office of Dietary Supplements https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx/ Accessed: 11 May 2022
  12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Use and Safety of Dietary Supplements – Q. How Do I Know If I Need A Dietary Supplement? Reviewed: 10 June 2021. Office of Dietary Supplements https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/ODS_Frequently_Asked_Questions.aspx Accessed: 11 May 2022

Topic Last Updated: 11 May 2022 – Topic Last Reviewed: 11 May 2022
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