Become an informed consumer!
1. What is a dietary supplement?
Dietary supplements are "foods intended to supplement a normal diet and constituting a concentrated source of nutrients or other substances with nutritional or physiological effects"*.
||All the ingredients used (vitamins, minerals, plants, additives, flavours, etc.) must be authorized by the minister for consumer affairs, following an opinion from ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety).
Their concentrations are limited by regulation
2. How do they differ from medicinal products?
Even though they are presented in the form of capsules, tables, liquid preparations or powders, they are not medicinal products as they have no therapeutic action. They can thus be sold over the counter. They can, of course, be recommended by a healthcare professional.
3. Are there any risks associated with dietary supplements?
If the recommendations for use are followed, dietary supplements are completely safe (doses supervised by the health authorities). In the event of allergy, check the list of ingredients for potential allergens, that are clearly highlighted as on all food labels.
Warning: taking several supplements simultaneously may lead to overdosage effects for certain nutrients. You should thus seek the advice of a healthcare professional, or see your doctor, who shall be the sole judges. Similarly, if you are receiving medicinal treatment, you must seek the advice of a doctor or pharmacist to avoid any interactions.
4. Where can I get them from**?
|Pharmacies, the leading sales channel||Supermarkets||Health-food stores||Online|
|54% of sales for adults.
78% of sales for children.
|14 % of purchases.||9 % of purchases.||Online sales are not regulated by decree (as for medicinal products), hence the health authorities recommend being vigilant concerning this distribution method*.|
**According to the Nutrinet-Santé study