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FOR FUTURE REFERENCE

The Union staff

Picking the right vitamin and mineral supplement to treat or prevent everything from arthritis to heart disease is increasingly complicated. Consumers also need to be aware that the FDA doesn’t require prior approval of safety and efficacy – the contents don’t even have to match the label.

In making selections, buyers can look for seals that are given following independent testing. The seal from the U.S. Pharmacopeia means the ingredients on the label in the potency indicated are correct. The seal given by the Council for Responsible Nutrition indicates that the manufacturer adheres to a code of ethics and manufacturing processes. To research products, here are resources:

U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). Non-government; not-for-profit. 800 822-8772 or http://www.usp.org

Medline Plus. Web site of U.S.National Library of Medicine provides usage and research information on vitamins and minerals. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vitaminsandminerals.html

Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) Disseminates research results. ods.od.nih.gov

Consumer Reports. Provides comparison analyses and warnings. http://www.consumerreports.org

Council for Responsible Nutrition. Watchdog site. Find labeling, legislation and regulation information. http://www.crnusa.org


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