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Friday, September 3, 2010

Dietary Supplements

If you're like me, at some point in your life you've gone into a drug store or any store that sell dietary supplements and have walked down aisles of bottles with claims that they can cure this or that disease or prevent this or that illness. Most dietary supplements are not regulated, so the manufacturers can claim just about anything.

You might be looking for a particular supplement and when you find it, there could be dozens of choices just for one type of supplement. The National Library of Medicine has an excellent database called the Dietary Supplements Labels Database. The Dietary Supplements Labels Database offers information about label ingredients in more than 4,000 selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to compare label ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the "structure/function" claims made by manufacturers. It is a site that you should bookmark and refer to whenever you're buying any kind of supplement.

The Mayo Clinic staff has written a very helpful article called Dietary supplements: Nutrition in a pill? that provides some very helpful tips for what to look for when you are shopping for supplements. Make sure you know what you're buying so you don't waste your money on something that is worthless.

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