The truth about dietary supplements

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Dietary supplements are rising in popularity in the United States. Supplement sales grew 7.5 percent in 2013, putting them over $34 billion in revenue for that year, and projected sales indicate the growth will continue. But are dietary supplements all they’re cracked up to be?

The answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.” There are thousands of supplements available on the market, and they are not all created equal.

The supplement industry is largely unregulated. There is no requirement for supplement companies to get their products approved by the FDA before they go on the market, though there are safety guidelines in place for companies to follow as they develop their formulas. The fact is, these companies can use the tiniest amount of active ingredients, then add a bunch of filler material and still sell the supplements for $90 per bottle, as long as they conform to the safety standards set forth by the FDA.

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