A Queensland dietitian says the ‘don”t take the supplements’ advice from the industry is a ‘tough pill to swallow’.
The advice comes after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommended supplements containing Vitamin D3 and vitamin B6 to be avoided as the supplements are not considered safe for pregnant women and children.
The agency said it was recommending that consumers not use the vitamin supplements.
In a statement, Dr Catherine Kelly from the Queensland Nutrition Clinic at Griffith University said the ‘toughest pill’ to swallow was the fact that the supplement industry is pushing the use of these supplements without being scientifically proven.
She said the industry’s ‘overwhelming focus’ on ‘marketing and advertising’ was putting consumers at risk.
“What is most worrying is that these products are not marketed as ‘anti-oxidants’ and do not offer protection against cardiovascular disease or cancer,” Dr Kelly said.
She said a large number of supplements containing vitamin D3 are ‘generally available’, but ‘there are only a handful of manufacturers’ in the US, Japan, Australia and Europe.
The supplement industry also claims the vitamins were not tested on animals and had not been studied for safety.
Ms Kelly said the government should ‘push back on the industry’ by ‘putting more rigorous testing’ into their products.
‘It’s about time we get our act together’ Dr Kelly told ABC News Breakfast.
Dr Kelly said she was concerned that the FDA had not done enough to regulate the supplement manufacturers and that consumers needed to be educated about their safety.
“The FDA has done a good job of regulating and promoting the safety of vitamins and minerals, but unfortunately we need to do more to regulate and promote the safety and efficacy of the supplement,” she said.
“We need to make sure we have a more rigorous regulatory process in place to make people aware of the health risks associated with vitamins and supplements.”
There are more than 30 supplements available that are marketed and marketed as vitamins and there are only three that are FDA-approved.
“The FDA’s guidelines state that supplements containing vitamins and mineral supplements should not be taken if they contain ingredients that could be hazardous to the health of a pregnant woman, or children.
For more information about the supplement and the supplements in your area, visit the FAS.