The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines a dietary ingredient as a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of the preceding substances.
Unlike drugs, supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases. That means supplements should not make claims, such as “reduces pain” or “treats heart disease.” Claims like these can only legitimately be made for drugs, not dietary supplements.
Dietary supplements include such ingredients as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and enzymes. Dietary supplements are marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, powders, and liquids.
Under existing law, including the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act passed by Congress in 1994, the FDA can take action to remove products from the market, but the agency must first establish that such products are adulterated (e.g., that the product is unsafe) or misbranded (e.g., that the labeling is false or misleading).
This webpage links to information describing the FDA’s views and recent actions with regard to ingredients used in products marketed as dietary supplements. If you have evidence that calls the agency’s views into question, we invite you to submit it, along with your reasoning, to the FDA at ODSP@fda.hhs.gov. This information is not intended to provide a complete list of all FDA actions and communications regarding these ingredients and their use in products marketed as dietary supplements.
The following is information on selected dietary supplement products, ingredients, and other substances:
- Acacia rigidula
- Cesium Chloride
- Pure Powdered Caffeine
In addition, the FDA Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List is intended to quickly alert the public when the FDA identifies ingredients that do not appear to be lawfully included in products marketed as dietary supplements.
Archived Items of Interest
- Red Yeast Rice Products August 2007
- Kava-Containing Dietary Supplements March 2002
- Comfrey Products July 2001