“NO APPROVED therapeutic claims,” say different food supplements in the market. What does this mean?

According to Dr. Imelda Dakis of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, food supplements are not therapeutic, or cannot be used for treatment because they contain no effective curative component. However, clinical tests on food supplements, particularly the determination of nutrient contents and vitamin or mineral fortifications, show that they have no adverse effects on the body.

In the country, the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) has defined food supplements as “those used for supplementing or fortifying the ordinary or usual diet with any vitamin, mineral, or other dietary property.”

Food supplements are further categorized per vitamin or mineral content to let the consumers know what benefits they will get.

To ensure that consumers will not be misled by rumors on curative effects of supplements, BFAD has required food supplement industries to print “no approved therapeutic claims” in their product labels.

“This is to inform the consumers that (food supplements) are not medicine. Food supplements are only adjunct or supplement in a way that (even though) it is not a drug, it will help in the management (of the illness) and treatment,” Dakis added.

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