Supplements Manufacturing Vitamins

Many people trust the vitamins they purchase to contain high-quality ingredients and to be manufactured under strict regulations. However, the quality of your vitamins and multivitamins can vary greatly depending on the country in which they are manufactured and on the company that manufactures them.

Manufacturing Vitamins in the United States

Many people think that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates how vitamins are manufactured and sold in the United States. This, however, is not the case.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web site:

[The] FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering “conventional” foods and drug products (prescription and Over-the-Counter). Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the dietary supplement manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement is safe before it is marketed. FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. Generally, manufacturers do not need to register their products with FDA nor get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements.* Manufacturers must make sure that product label information is truthful and not misleading.

* Domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture/process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are required to register their facility with the FDA.

Thus, vitamins and dietary supplements, both those made domestically and those made internationally, do not need to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before they are sold to the public. Nor does the FDA have any regulations establishing a minimum standard of practice for the manufacture of dietary supplements and vitamins.

Currently, it is the job of the manufacturer to ensure that it produces safe supplements.

In addition, the manufacturer must make certain that the product contains the ingredients listed on the label.

Making Sure Your Vitamins are Safe

Without government regulation, how can you be sure the vitamins you are using are safe? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers these tips:

  • Consider your diet before taking a supplement. While some people aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals, others receive sufficient quantities from the foods they eat.
  • Consult your doctor before taking any supplement, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and/or hypertension or are taking medication. Also talk to your child’s pediatrician before giving him vitamins.
  • If you need additional information about a product, contact the vitamin’s manufacturer. If you cannot speak to someone who can provide you with the information you are seeking, do not buy from the company.

In addition, you should buy vitamins and supplements only from companies you know and trust. There are many companies in the United States that are known for providing safe and reliable products. Well-known manufacturers of vitamins and supplements include:

  • Bayer HealthCare
  • Douglas Laboratories
  • Karuna
  • Source Naturals
  • USANA Health Science
  • Vitamin Research Products
  • Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.

Resources

Best Vitamin Supplements Guide (n.d.). Top Rated Nutritional Supplement Manufacturers and Products. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from the Best Vitamin and Supplements Guide Web site: http://www.best-vitamin-supplements-guide.com/nutritional-supplement-manufacturers.html.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (n.d.) Dietary Supplements: Overview. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web site: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/supplmnt.html.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (January 2002). Tips for the Savvy Supplement Consumer: Making Informed Decisions and Evaluation Information. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web site: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ds-savvy.html.