Nursing & Healthcare News

Dietary Supplements

New advisory list steers consumers away from certain ingredients

If you or your patients regularly take dietary supplements, the FDA has a new link for you to bookmark: an advisory list warning consumers to avoid supplements containing certain specific ingredients.

Introducing “The List”

Back in February, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced that his agency would be taking steps to tighten federal regulation of dietary supplements.

By Gottlieb’s estimates, between 75 and 80 percent of all Americans take at least one supplement, which has created a burgeoning $40 billion market.

“I’m concerned that changes in the supplement market may have outpaced the evolution of our own policies and our capacity to manage emerging risks,” he said.

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The latest step in the ongoing campaign is the new Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List. “The List,” as FDA officials have dubbed it, is a regularly updated catalog of ingredients the agency believes may not be lawful for dietary supplement use.

Ingredients to Avoid

The initial advisory list includes four ingredients:

  • andarine, used in some fitness supplements to reduce muscle wasting and osteoporosis
  • higenamine, a stimulant marketed for weight loss
  • hordenine, sometimes marketed as a fat-burner
  • 1.4-DMAA, a stimulant found in sports supplements.

Different manufacturers may list these ingredients under a variety of chemical names, so the advisory includes a laundry list of common aliases for each. FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannis stresses that these ingredients aren’t necessarily unsafe. However, he recommends that consumers shy away from products containing these ingredients — and that manufacturers avoid offering them until they can establish that the ingredients are being lawfully used.

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