According to the Food Act a food supplement is a food that is used to supplement regular food, and which is a concentrated source of nutrients or other substances with nutritive or physiological effects for humans.
Food supplements are sold individually but also in combined forms. Some examples of food supplements are orally administered preparations of vitamin and mineral nutrients, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, lecithin, garlic powder etc.
Take food supplements in a reasonable manner. Food supplements are not meant for treating or alleviating any diseases. Neither are food supplements a substitute for a diverse diet and they should not be administered without a cause, as excessive use of food supplements can be harmful to the body. Most people can get all the nutrients their body needs by eating a balanced diet. Compared to a vitamin capsule, fresh fruits and vegetables are a much more diverse source of necessary substances that are also present in the right ratio for absorption into the body.
Remain critical of food supplement advertisements. You should remain reasonably sceptical of promising claims on food supplement labels or advertisements. Do not believe claims related to prevention or treatment of illnesses, as nutrition is only one of many factors that affect the development of a disease or getting better from it. Products often lack the wondrous effect that was promised in their advertisements. For example, consuming Raspberry Ketones did not bring about the slimming effects that were promised in the product’s advertisements online, which depicted Raspberry Ketones as slimming wonder capsules.
Read and adhere to the instruction manual of the food supplement. The recommended daily dose of the food supplement, which should not be exceeded, is indicated on its label. If necessary, consult with your family physician. A family physician or a pharmacist should definitely be consulted prior to giving a food supplement to children, even if the product is meant for children.
Find out who is the seller of the food supplement. In the European Union (EU), food supplements are subject to the same requirements, regardless of whether the product is sold at a shop, pharmacy, from hand to hand, via post or online. However, if you purchase food supplements online from a place outside of the EU, they might not comply with the EU requirements. This is why you should always make sure in which country the seller is registered, prior to purchasing the product. This information has to be available for you as a buyer.