Supplements During Cancer: Help or Hype?
September 14, 2011 – Laura Beil
Unlocking the Mystery of Cancer Stem Cells
September 14, 2011 – Elaine Schattner, MD
Advocates Make Cancer Their Mission
September 14, 2011 – Marc Silver
Choosing an Imaging Test
September 14, 2011 – Charlotte Huff
Do You Need a Cancer Coach?
September 14, 2011 – Jennifer M. Gangloff
Coordinating Care After Cancer
September 14, 2011 – Dawn Dorsey
How to Manage Family Dynamics During Cancer
September 14, 2011 – Jane Hill
Another State Gets Chemo Parity
September 14, 2011 – Taylor Walker
Ford Led Discussion on Breast Cancer
September 14, 2011 – Lindsay Ray
Breast Cancer Drug Scores Win in Prevention
September 14, 2011 – Elizabeth Whittington
Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between
September 14, 2011 – Kathy LaTour
A Survivorship Resource Map
September 14, 2011 – Elizabeth Whittington
Q & A: Patients Want Coordinated Care
September 14, 2011 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
September 14, 2011 – Lindsay Ray
The Meaning of Stem Cells
September 14, 2011 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Comments from Readers
September 14, 2011
Managing Cancer-Related Diarrhea
September 14, 2011 – Katy Human
Supplement Research in Cancer Lacking
September 14, 2011 – Barrie Cassileth, PhD
Pipeline
September 14, 2011 – Lindsay Ray
Remaining Faithful
September 14, 2011 – Cheryl L. Rice
Aa Berrys Effect on Cancer in Question
September 14, 2011 – Jason Roberson
What Caused Your Cancer?
September 14, 2011 – Staff Reports
Searching for a Cancer Coach?
September 14, 2011 – Jennifer M. Gangloff
Tell What Youre Taking
September 14, 2011 – Laura Beil
Currently Viewing
Dont Believe Everything You Read on Supplement Labels
September 14, 2011 – Laura Beil
Checking Out a Charity
September 14, 2011 – Marc Silver
Should You Just Do It?
September 14, 2011 – Marc Silver
Previvors Need Expert Guidance, Close Surveillance
September 14, 2011 – Dawn Dorsey
Safety in Numbers
September 14, 2011 – Jane Hill
Flaxseed Doesn't Help With Hot Flashes
September 14, 2011 – Kathy LaTour
From Our Archives: Imaging
September 16, 2011
From Our Archives: Supplements
September 14, 2011
Vitamin D and Folate May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk
September 14, 2011 – Lena Huang
Sleep Problems Impair Childhood Cancer Survivors
September 14, 2011 – Taylor Walker
Cancer Imaging Gets Sophisticated
September 14, 2011 – Susan R. Peck, PhD
From Our Archives: Advocacy
September 14, 2011

Dont Believe Everything You Read on Supplement Labels

Cancer patients and survivors should discuss supplement and vitamin use with their oncologists.

BY Laura Beil
PUBLISHED September 14, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration treats dietary supplements more like food than drugs. This means that the standards the agency applies to medicines, including testing of products before they are put on the market, don’t apply to supplements. There is also no defined standard for many commonly used terms, such as “natural,” which means that consumers are often left to choose supplements based on the label—with no guarantee that what’s on the label is actually in the bottle.

Buyer, beware. Do some homework before buying supplements. For example, the service Consumerlab.com runs independent tests of common vitamins and herbs, searching for purity, amount of active ingredient and contaminants. Some results have been surprising—revealing several times more or less of the ingredients listed on the label, or contamination with metals and other substances. As a case in point, recent tests of popular multivitamins found that almost one-third of the products tested contained significantly more or less ingredient than claimed on the label, or were contaminated with lead.

Also, look for certain designations on the label that show the manufacturer has voluntarily subscribed to higher manufacturing practices. Several organizations offer independent verification, and if the products meet those standards for purity, quality and potency, a seal will appear on the label. For instance, U.S. Pharmacopeia has a verification mark (visit uspverified.org); Consumerlab also has its own approval process for companies that choose regular quality testing; and independent quality verification is provided by the Natural Products Association (npainfo.org) and NSF International (nsf.org).

Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the General Discussions CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

1
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In