Dietary supplements help people get the nutrients they need to thrive, and 77 percent of Americans take them, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition. However, experts advise that to make smart choices down the line, it is necessary to understand changes being made to product labels.
“The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that all dietary supplement products feature updated labeling by January 2021 to reflect the evolution of the American diet, as well as advancements in nutrition science,” said Brian Wommack, the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s senior vice president of communications. “Larger manufacturers will comply by January 2020, and many other manufacturers will be introducing the new labels early, so it’s smart for everyone to get familiar with the updates now.”
An estimated 82% of Americans report that the information on a label helps them make purchasing decisions, and being label wise, according to Wommack, means being committed to reading product labels, having knowledge of what information is featured and why, and making well-informed purchasing decisions.
“While some of the changes to the label are more obvious than others, all of them are important to understand,” he said.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition identified the following notable aspects of the new Supplement Facts label.
• New Daily Values will reflect the latest nutrition science and changes in U.S. diets.
• Vitamins A, D and E will change from amounts in International Units to the more common measures of milligrams and micrograms.
• Folic acid, an important nutrient before and during pregnancy, will be listed as folate and measured in micrograms of dietary folate equivalents.
• If sugar is added to the product, the Daily Values amount and percent will appear.
“We all have unique nutritional needs, so talk with your health-care practitioner to understand how these label changes might impact you,” Wommack advised consumers.
For tips and advice on reading supplement labels and for more information on the coming changes, visit belabelwise.org.