Checking the ingredient list

Check the supplement label. In the early 1990s, the FDA introduced the consumer-friendly nutrition food label with its mini-nutrition guide to nutrient content, complete ingredient listings, and dependable information about how eating certain foods may affect your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer. (For more about the nutrition labels, see Chapter 17.)

The FDA's new supplement labels must list all ingredients. The label for vitamin and mineral products must give you the quantity per nutrient per serving plus the %DV (percentage daily value), the percentage of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance). The listings for other dietary supplements, such as botanicals (herbs) and phytochemicals (see Chapter 12), must show the quantity per serving plus the part of the plant from which the ingredient is drawn (root, leaves, and so on). A manufacturer's own proprietary blend of two or more botanicals must list the weight of the total blend.

Figure 5-1 shows an example of the new supplement labels.

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